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The Evolution of Dental Materials over the Past Century: Silver and Gold to Tooth Color and Beyond.


The field of dental materials has undergone more of a revolution than an evolution over the past 100 y. The development of new products, especially in the past half century, has occurred at a staggering pace, and their introduction to the market has been equally impressive. The movement has mostly come in the area of improved esthetics, marked by the gradual replacement of dental amalgam with dental composite and all-metal and porcelain-fused-to-metal indirect restorations with reinforced dental ceramics, all made possible by the rapid improvements in dental adhesive materials. This article covers the time course of dental materials development over the past century in which the Journal of Dental Research has been published. While there have been advances in nearly all materials used in the field, this article focuses on several areas, including dental amalgam, dental composites and light curing, dental adhesives and dental cements, ceramics, and new functional repair materials. A few short statements on future advances will be included at the end.

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