You Know the Drill: The Cavity Filling Quiz
It seems that everyone has had a cavity filled -- whether they care to admit it or not. But how much do you know about the process and its history? Time for a drill (pun intended).
Dentists -- whether they called them dentists or not -- have been drilling teeth for how long?
The 7,000-year-old teeth discovered by archaeologists were actually found where?
- in a graveyard
- in a landfill
- soaking in salt water
True or False: The teeth with drill holes discovered in the graveyard were bicuspids.
It's believed that the ancient dentists drilled the teeth because:
- they wanted to stop further decay
- they were trying to ward off evil spirits
- we don't really know why they were drilled
True or False: Drilling may have started thousands of years ago, but cavity filling only began in the last century.
In the early 1800s, dentists would create a filling by:
- taking a pellet from their ammunition stash
- rolling a substance between their fingers
- spitting in the mud
True or False: One of the most commonly used substances for fillings was soft wood.
What were some of the substances that were initially used for fillings?
- tin and lead
- lead and aluminum
- all of the above (and more)
True or False: Even asbestos was sometimes used as a filling in the early days.
The benefit of using a soft substance for fillings is that it can be easily molded. What's the downside?
- they make a squishy sound
- they make a man soft, too
- they don't last
True or False: Fillings that match the color of your existing teeth are the best quality.
The cost of different types of fillings:
- doesn't vary
- can have an impact on your pocketbook
- is covered by your insurance regardless
Most insurance companies use this substance as the baseline for what they're willing to cover:
The side effects of choosing one cavity filling substance over another are:
- financial and, potentially, physical in nature
- financial in nature
- physical in nature
When you go in to have a cavity filled, a dentist will typically:
- give you a menu, and ask you what substance you'd like put in the cavity
- tell you that you have to use the substance he wants
- not discuss the material to be put into your cavity
True or False: All fillings last 20 to 30 years.
Composite fillings are usually this color:
- a hazy shade of winter
- a whiter shade of pale
- the color of your existing teeth
Silver fillings are known for:
- picking up AM radio signals
- causing extensive health problems
- being cost effective and lasting a decade or more
True or False: The FDA doesn't bother itself with issuing statements about fillings.
True or False: The dentistry profession, unfortunately, hasn't had many advances.