Dental implants are artificial tooth roots which are anchored to the bone. This implanted tooth root lookalike is used to attach a false tooth or support crowns and bridges, permanently replacing teeth which may be bad to the bone, missing or damaged. Many have wondered about the myth of hearing a radio station from a loose filling.
Apart from being a lot to chew on or even too much to swallow, that myth suggests a dental filling made from a variety of compounds can actually act as a radio signal antenna, a transistor (or diode and capacitor) and a speaker all at the same time.
The physics of hearing a radio station through an object in the mouth such as a filling or an implant is not that complex. The groovy filling or implant would need to pick up on the good vibrations from an electrical source, conduct those into the jawbone and inner ear and there would be peace. The problem is converting the electrical signal into the mechanical. It’s the AC/DC issue. What if the radio station was talk radio and the listener was convinced to have all their teeth removed? What a wasted opportunity to listen to better stations and take better and more informed advice.
The root cause of this myth was most likely created by a young dental patient who enjoyed binging on large amounts of hard candy resulting in significant tooth decay, numerous visits to the dentist and even more numerous fillings. The young patient, on a sugar rush, dazed and confused, forgot that they were listening to the radio through their earplugs and attributed the source of the voices to their loose fillings.
The restorative history of fillings is that of the immediate alternative to the removal of teeth. The erosive power of acid from decomposing sugars, results in pits and weaknesses in the enamel of the tooth. Untreated, tooth decay may cause infection and certainly causes a lot of discomfort and pain as the tooth nerve becomes more and more exposed. The dentist drills the tooth to create an opening large enough to accommodate the mortar like properties of a filling. The paste is then applied to the opening in the tooth, set and polished to a smooth finish.
Early fillings were made from composites blended with mercury. Mercury is extremely poisonous and may have resulted in hearing damage in some patients, another possible cause of the tooth radio myth. After years of significant tooth decay and direct restoration, fillings which today are made from amalgam, composites, porcelain and other blends of materials including gold, the patient approaches the dentist with the option of indirect restoration, implants.
The implant is a prosthetic approach to tooth loss, permanent and durable. Tooth loss is caused by a variety of factors including tooth decay, root canal failure, trauma, gum disease and plain old wear and tear.
At some point, the ex-hard candy eating patient turns their head in an apparently desperate attempt to change radio stations away from hard rock candy, looks in the mirror and dreams of bright and shiny teeth, permanently attached to dental implants. K-SPARKLE is the new tooth radio station for the new world, a far cry from pop-rock candy and certainly not some fill-in station for a patchwork smile.