Fibrous And Textile Metallic Filling

Dr. Robinson's Fibrous and Textile Metallic Filling is a shredded

metallic alloy, mostly tin, and has the appearance of woven or felt

foil. It is prepared in a machine invented by the doctor especially for

the purpose, and he gives directions for using as follows: "Cut the

material into strips running with the selvage, and fill as you would

with soft foil; use it in all surrounding walls, and finish with a

mallet burni
her. Where the surface comes to hard wear, weld on gold

with long, sharp serrated pluggers, and finish the same as with gold

fillings. The advantage over gold for cervical, buccal, and lingual

walls is the perfect ease with which it is adapted, and it can be

burnished so as to be absolutely impervious to moisture. Sharp,

coarse-serrated pluggers are particularly desirable when using hand

pressure." It comes in one-half-ounce boxes, filled with sheets less

than two inches square; the thin ones are used for filling, and the

thick ones make good linings for vulcanite.

This material is easy to manipulate, but great care is required in

condensing at cavity-margins, so as to make a tight filling, and also

not injure the margins. It makes as hard a surface as tin foil, and can

be cut, polished, and burnished so that it is smooth and looks well; it

can be used in temporary or chalky teeth, as a small amount of force

condenses it. By using a matrix proximal cavities can be filled from

one-fourth to one-half full, and the rest filled with gold, relying on

the form of the cavity to hold the gold, regardless of its connection

with the fibrous material. If the surface is not overmalleted so as to

make it brittle or powdery, a strip of No. 4 cohesive gold, of four or

five thicknesses, may be driven into it with a hand mallet and plugger

of medium serrations; this union is largely mechanical, but of

sufficient tenacity to make manipulation easy, as the material makes a

solid foundation to build upon. After exposure to the oral fluids,

electrolysis takes place at the junction of the metals.

In 1884 Dr. Brophy said, "I have used Robinson's material for two years,

and find it possesses good qualities, and can be used in deciduous

teeth, first permanent molars, and cervical margins with better results

than can be obtained with any other material by the majority of


Malleted with deeply serrated pluggers, it will make a filling which

will not leak. It has saved many teeth from caries at the cervical

margin where it might have recurred sooner had cohesive gold been used.

In the mouth it changes color about the same as tin foil, and a few

fillings did not maintain their integrity, but became crumbly and


For conducting properties it ranks about with tin, and fillings can be

made more rapidly than with cohesive gold. We have used ounces of it,

but time has proved that everything that can be done with it in filling

teeth can also be accomplished as well and in some cases better with tin


In 1878 Dr. N. B. Slayton patented his Felt Foil, which was said to be

tin cut into hair-like fibers by a machine, then pressed into small

sheets and sold in one-half-ounce books, but it sold only to a very

limited extent. Soon after this Dr. Jere Robinson, Sr., invented a

machine and began the manufacture of a similar article, but he found he

was infringing on the Slayton patent, so he purchased the Slayton

machine and made satisfactory terms to continue his own manufacture of

fibrous material. After this little was heard of Slayton's Felt Foil,

but Robinson's was considerably used. The two materials look and are

manipulated almost exactly alike. Dr. Robinson has both of

above-mentioned machines now in his possession.

Archibald McBride, of Pittsburg, Pa., in 1838, made a roll of a portion

of a sheet of tin, and then used just enough gold to cover it, aiming

to keep the gold on the surface, so as to have the filling look like one

of all gold, and not with the idea of deriving any special benefit from

the effects of wear or preservation as obtained by thus combining the

two metals. The fee for a gold filling was one dollar; tin, fifty cents.

Some operators have advocated using tin and gold (symbol Tg), rolled or

folded together in alternate layers, thus exposing both metals to the

fluids of the mouth; claiming that fillings can be made quicker, are not

so subject to thermal changes, and can be inserted nearer the pulp than

when gold is used. This may be true in comparison with gold, but these

three claims are entirely met by using tin alone. Others say that this

union of gold and tin will preserve the teeth as well as a correct gold

filling, making no conditions or restrictions as to tooth-structure or

location of cavity. They say that it preserves the cervical margin

better than gold; that it expands slightly.

A description of some different methods of combining and manipulating

tin and gold is subjoined:

(a) Two sheets of No. 4 cohesive gold and one of the same number of

tin are used; place the tin between the gold, cut off strips, and use

with hand or mallet force the same as cohesive gold; if non-cohesive

gold is used, the strips can be folded into mats or rolled into

cylinders, and are used on the wedging plan, the same as non-cohesive

gold, or the strips can be folded back and forth in the cavity until it

is full.

(b) Lay a sheet of non-cohesive gold, No. 3, on a sheet of tin of the

same number, cut off strips, roll into ropes and use as non-cohesive

gold. It is easily packed and harder than tin, and has a preservative

action on the teeth. Line the cavity with chloro-balsam as an insulator

against possible currents and moisture; especially should this be done

in large cavities or chalky teeth.

(c) A sheet of non-cohesive gold, No. 4, is laid on a sheet of tin of

the same number, cut into strips and rolled into cylinders, or folded

into blocks, always in equal portions; then they will unite to the

extent of two leaves. These fillings sometimes become a solid mass about

the color of amalgam, and last very well, as the metals have become

united by electrolysis. An excess of tin will be marked by lines or pits

in the filling, showing where the tin has been disintegrated or

dissolved by the chemical action which occurs on the surface exposed to


No doubt, good fillings have been made by the above methods, yet some

were granular, gritty, and were easily removed, while others were quite

smooth and hard; probably in the first instance the proportion of tin

and gold was not proper,--that is, not equal; or it was not well

condensed. Tin being the positive element, it is more easily acted on

and disintegrated by electrolysis (chemical action of the fluids).

When this combination does become hard, it wears longer than tin on an

occlusal surface, but we believe that in some cases where it was used

the teeth could have been saved just as well with either tin or gold, or

by filling part of the cavity with tin and the rest with gold.

If tin foil is laid on 22-carat gold and vulcanized, it becomes

thoroughly attached and will take a tin polish; the attraction or

interchange of atoms takes place to this extent.

This combination of tin and gold can be used at the cervical margin, or

a cavity can be lined with it, and the remainder filled with cohesive or

non-cohesive gold.

"Tin and gold (Tg) folded or rolled together in equal portions possesses

a greater number of desirable properties than any other material, for it

is easily adapted, has antiseptic action and a lower conductivity than

gold. A new filling is harder than tin, softer than gold, but after a

time it becomes as hard as amalgam. It oxidizes and thus helps make

tight margins, and is very useful at cervical margins; generally

discolors, but not always, and does not discolor the tooth unless a

carious portion has been left, and then only discolors that portion. In

oral fluids it is indestructible if well condensed, otherwise it is

crumbly. There is no change of form, except a slight expansion, which

does no harm. A weak electric current is set up between the gold and

tin, and tin oxid is formed. The hardening and discoloration both depend

upon the separation of the tin by the electrical action and its

deposition on the surface of the gold. I generally prepare cavities the

same as for non-cohesive gold, but a Tg filling may be held in a more

shallow cavity and with less undercuts than for gold. Hand pressure is

adopted, but a mallet may be used advantageously. Lay a sheet of No. 4

non-cohesive gold on a sheet of No. 4 tin, then cut into strips and

twist into ropes; keep the tin on the outside, for it does not tear as

easily as gold. Carry the material against the walls and not against the

base, otherwise the filling will be flat or concave; but should this

occur, then force a wedge-shaped plugger into the center of the filling,

and drive the material toward the walls, and then fill the hole or

remove all the filling and begin anew.

"In very deep cavities use a mat of Tg, dampened in carbolic acid and

dipped in powdered thymol, as a base; this has an antiseptic action, and

also prevents pressure on or penetration into the pulp.

"Drs. Abbot, Berlin; Jenkins, Dresden; Sachs, Breslau, have observed

tin-gold fillings from fifteen to twenty-five years, and say that for

certain cases it is better than any other material. I use square-pointed

pluggers (four-cornered), as part of the packing is done with the side

of the plugger. Tg is useful in partly erupted molars, buccal cavities

under the gums, occlusal cavities in temporary teeth, cavities where all

decay cannot be removed. Use Tg with a gold capping in small, deep

occlusal cavities, cavities with overhanging walls, occlusal cavities

with numerous fissures, large, deep occlusal cavities near the pulp, in

proximal cavities.

"Line labial walls of incisors with non-cohesive gold, and fill the

remainder with Tg. For repairing gold fillings I use Tg." (Dr. Miller,

Berlin, Dental Cosmos, 1890.)

Dr. Jenkins, of Dresden, says, "I use Tg in soft, imperfect teeth, of

which there are plenty in Germany, because it has pliability,

adaptability, slight susceptibility to thermal changes, makes a

water-tight joint, very useful at cervical margins, and can be used with

a minimum amount of pressure. When packed dry and with the gold next to

the tooth, discoloration occurs only on the surface; packed wet, the

whole discolors. I do not attribute its success to electrical action.

Lay a sheet of No. 4 tin on a sheet of No. 4 non-cohesive gold, fold so

as to keep the gold on the outside; use the strip with lateral pressure,

doubling it upon itself."

Dr. A. H. Thompson: "After several years' successful use of tin-gold, I

commend it for approximal cavities, cervical margins, and frail walls.

The oxid formed penetrates the enamel and dentin; if a filling wears

down, cover the surface with gold."

Dr. Pearson: "I do not like tin and gold in alternate layers. I prefer

No. 10 tin foil."

Dr. James Truman: "I believe that tin-gold has a positive value as a


"I prepare tin-gold by taking a sheet of No. 4 non- or semi-cohesive

gold, fold them together (or twist them) so as to have the gold on the

outside, and then fill any cavity with it. Since adopting the above

combination I have almost abandoned amalgam. This is recommended on

account of its density, ease of insertion, capacity for fine finish,

non-conducting and non-shrinking qualities, and compatibility with

tooth-substance. Those who have not used it will be surprised at the

rapidity with which it can be manipulated. It may be employed in any

cavity not exposed to view, also in crown, buccal, and approximal

fillings which extend into the occlusal surface, as it offers an

astonishing resistance to wear. It can be used anywhere that amalgam

can, and with more certainty of non-leakage, and it has the additional

advantage that it can be finished at the same sitting. Care is necessary

in manipulating it, so as to avoid chopping. I use hand pressure when

filling, and the mallet to condense the surface." (Dr. A. W. Harlan,

Independent Practitioner, 1884.)

"Pure tin foil is employed in connection with non-cohesive gold in

filling proximal cavities in bicuspids and molars; a sheet of gold and a

sheet of tin are folded together." (C. J. Essig: "Prosthetic


Dr. Benj. Lord says, "A combination in which I find great interest is in

the use of soft or non-cohesive gold with tin foil. This is no novelty

in practice, but I think that, for the most part, too great a proportion

of tin has been used, and hence has arisen the objection that the tin

dissolved in some mouths. I am satisfied that I myself until recently

employed more tin than was well. I now use from one-tenth to one-twelfth

as much tin as gold, and no disintegration or dissolving away of the

tin ever occurs. I fold the two metals together in the usual way of

folding gold to form strips, the tin being placed inside the gold. The

addition of the tin makes the gold tougher, so that it works more like

tin foil. The packing can be done with more ease and certainty; the

filling, with the same effort, will be harder, and the edges or margins

are stronger and more perfect.

"The two metals should be thoroughly incorporated by manipulation. Then,

after a time, there will be more or less of an amalgamation. By using

about a sixteenth of tin, the color of the gold is so neutralized that

the filling is far less conspicuous than when it is all gold, and I very

often use such a proportion of tin in cavities on the labial surfaces of

the front teeth.

"If too much tin is employed in such cases, there will be some

discoloration of the surface of the fillings; but in the proportion that

I have named no discoloration occurs, and the surface of the filling

will be an improvement on gold in color."

"Dr. Howe. I would like to ask Dr. Lord whether, in referring to the

proportions of tin and gold, he means them to be considered by weight?

"Dr. Lord. No, not by weight, but by the width of the strip of tin and

the width of the strip of gold. I get the proportions in that way, then

lay the tin on the gold and fold the gold over and over, which keeps the

tin inside the gold.

"Dr. Howe. Will Dr. Lord tell us whether he refers to the same numbers

of gold foil and tin foil; as, for instance, No. 4 gold and No. 4 tin?

"Dr. Lord. I use the No. 5 gold, and tin, I think, of about the

same number, but I always use No. 5 gold, both cohesive and

non-cohesive."--New York Odontological Society Proceedings, 1893, page


"Tin and gold, in the proportions generally used, do not present a

pleasing color; when finished, it looks but little better than tin, and

after a short time it grows dark, and sometimes black. I use five parts

of gold to one of tin, prepared as follows: Lay down one sheet of

Abbey's non-cohesive gold foil, No. 6; upon this place a sheet of No. 4;

upon this place a sheet of White's globe tin foil, No. 4; upon this

another sheet of Abbey's non-cohesive gold, No. 4; upon this a sheet of

No. 6. Cut into five strips and crimp; the crimped strips are cut into

pieces a little longer than the depth of the cavity to be filled; some

of the strips are rolled into cylinders, others are left open, because

easier to use in starting a filling. The color of this combination is

slightly less yellow than pure gold, and hardens just as rapidly as when

the proportions are one to one, but does not become quite as hard. This

preparation is non-cohesive, and should be inserted by the wedge

process. I use it in the grinding surface of molars and bicuspids,

buccal cavities in molars and bicuspids, cervical fissure pits in

superior incisors, proximal cavities in bicuspids and molars. If

proximal cavities are opened from the occlusal surface, the last portion

of the filling should be of cohesive gold to withstand mastication. In

simple cavities I place as many pieces as can be easily introduced,

using my pliers as the wedging instrument to make room for the last

pieces, and then condense the whole. If the cavity is too deep for this,

I use Fletcher's artificial dentin as a base, because it partly fills

the cavity and the ends of the cylinders stick to it. After an

approximal cavity is prepared, use a matrix held in place by wooden

wedges; the cylinders are about one-eighth of an inch long, and

condensed in two or three layers so as to secure perfect adaptation;

hand pressure is principally used, but a few firm strokes with a hand

mallet are useful. When ready to add the cohesive gold for the

grinding-surface, a few pieces of White's crystal mat gold should first

be used, because it adheres beautifully; thus a perfect union is

secured, but I never risk adding the gold without leaving a little

undercut for it in the tooth. By this method we obtain a beautiful

contour filling in a short time. Fillings should be burnished and then

polished with a fine strip, or moistened pumice on a linen tape. Where

cohesive gold is used for the entire filling, in many cases the

enamel-walls, already thin near the cervical margin, are made thinner by

the unavoidable friction of the polishing strips, but tin and gold is so

soft that a good surface is obtained in a few moments, and this danger

is reduced to a minimum. The surface is as smooth as a cohesive gold

filling, while such a surface is impossible with non-cohesive gold. In

cavities which extend so far beyond the margin of the gum that it is

impossible to adjust the rubber-dam, I prepare the cavity as usual, then

adjust a matrix, disinfect, dry, and fill one-third full with tin and

gold, then remove the matrix, apply the rubber, place matrix again in

position, and complete the filling by adding a little tin and gold, then

pure gold." (Dr. W. A. Spring, Dental Review, February, 1896.)

Dr. T. D. Shumway says, "To have a scientific method of treatment, there

certainly must be a recognition of what is known of the nature of

tooth-structure. The method adopted more than a quarter of a century

ago, and which is at present employed, does not accord with the

teachings of the physiologist and microscopist; it is in direct

opposition to natural law. Each new discovery in the minute structure of

the teeth makes this more plain; pounding the teeth with a mallet cannot

be defended on scientific grounds. That it has not resulted more

disastrously is due to the wonderful recuperative energy of nature to

repair injury. No one would think of attempting to arrest and prevent

disintegration in any other vital organ by abrasion. Why, then, in

operation on the teeth, should we reverse the plain, simple teaching of

nature? Placing cohesive gold against the dentinal walls by pounding it

to heal a lesion is opposed to natural law. Cohesive gold will not be

mastered by force; if compelled to yield by superior strength, it seeks

a way to release itself; it is easily coaxed, but not easily driven.

Cohesive gold will unite with tin at an insensible distance just as

cohesive gold unites with itself; this union takes place without force

or pressure. Exactly what takes place when gold and tin are brought in

contact in the way described we do not know; we can only say that there

appears to be a perfect union. When cohesive gold was introduced to the

profession, while it was softer than non-cohesive foil, it was found to

resist under manipulation. This resistance is in accordance with the

well-known law that all crystalline bodies, when unobstructed, assume a

definite form. With gold the tendency is to a spherical form. The

process of crystallization is always from within outward. The mallet was

introduced to overcome the resistance caused by the development of the

cohesive property. Pounding gold with a mallet only increases its

crystallization. A crystalline body coming in contact with a fibrous one

can neither be antiseptic nor preservative; a filling-material which

possesses these properties must be one that corresponds or is in harmony

with tooth-substance.

"In the interglobular spaces there is a substance which is called

amorphous or structureless, and a filling to be in harmony with this

substance should be amorphous or structureless in its composition. The

only materials we have which meet these conditions are gutta-percha and

tin. It is its structureless character that gives to tin its value.

Coming in contact with the living dentin, it is easily adapted, and does

not excite inflammation; it does not interfere with the process going on

within the teeth to heal the lesion caused by caries. A wound from a

bullet made of tin, unless it struck a vital part, nature would heal,

even if the cause of the wound was not removed, by encysting the ball.

This process of nature of repairing injury by encysting the cause is of

interest to the dentist in the study of suitable filling-materials. Tin

is very useful at the cervical margin of cavities; it acts as an

antiseptic or preservative, and reduces the liability to subsequent

decay. It is our endeavor to obtain a filling that will preserve the

teeth and reduce the liability to, if not wholly prevent, secondary

decay. The law of correspondence is of more consequence than the

mechanical construction of the filling. Tin can be used without that

rigid adherence to mechanical rule that is necessary to retain a filling

of cohesive gold; thus less of the tooth needs to be sacrificed.

"Gold will unite with tin under certain conditions so as to form

apparently a solid mass. By a combination of these metals, not by

interlacing or incorporating one in the other, but by affinity, secured

by simple contact, we have all the preservative qualities of tin

combined with the indestructible properties of gold. For the base of the

filling we have a material in harmony with tooth-substance, introduced

in a way that is in accord with the law that governs all living bodies,

and for the outside a crystalline substance that corresponds to the

covering of the teeth. This covering of gold is a perfect shield to the

base, and the field for the display of artistic skill in restoring

contours is as broad as though gold was used entirely. Will a filling of

this kind withstand mastication? There is in the economy of nature a

provision made to overcome the resistance of occlusion. The teeth are

cushioned in the jaw and yield under pressure. The elasticity of the

substance of which the teeth are made is well understood. Ivory is the

most elastic substance known. The teeth coming together is like the

percussion of two billiard balls. Now a filling to save the teeth should

correspond as nearly as possible with the tooth-substance; it should not

be arbitrary, but elastic and yielding. Tin is interdigitous; it expands

laterally, and is almost as easily introduced as amalgam, and when put

in place does not have to be bound to be retained. Tin, with an outside

covering of gold to protect it, makes a filling to which amalgam bears

no comparison. In the light of scientific investigation there can be but

one method--a method based upon the recognized principle that the

filling-material and the manner of introducing it shall correspond

to and be in harmony with the living, vital organism with which it comes

in contact.

"After excavating, the cavity is treated with absolute alcohol, as

cleanliness and thorough dryness are absolutely essential.

"The tin is put in with steel pluggers, after the method of wedging;

it must be thoroughly condensed, so as to leave a smooth surface, and

enough used to come up to where the enamel and dentin join.

"The effect is not produced by incorporating or interlacing the gold

with the tin; we rely upon the affinity of the two metals to retain the

gold; no undercuts, angles, or pits are made in the tin, dentin, or

enamel. The gold, extra cohesive from No. 4 to 40, is made to adhere to

the tin by simple contact, without pressure or force; the union is not


"The instruments used for filling the remainder of the cavity with gold

are Shumway's ivory points, which adapt the gold nicely to the margin.

"The set consists of five and were patented in 1881, and have been used

by me since that time for manipulating cohesive gold. One 'point' is for

proximal cavities in the anterior teeth; three 'points' of different

sizes are for occlusal cavities; one 'point' for proximal cavities in

bicuspids and molars and labial and buccal cavities; the sides, edges,

and ends of the 'points' are used, as the purpose is simply to obtain


"The 'point' shown full size in Fig. 8 is of more general application

than any of the others, and is used for proximal cavities in bicuspids,

also labial and buccal cavities. The handle is made of ebony, and has a

silver ferrule, from which the ivory extends to the end and completes

the instrument.

"The metal pin in the end of the handle is for picking up and carrying

the gold."

Tin has been used successfully for completely lining cavities, filling

the remainder with gold; it is also useful for repairing gold fillings.

Two or three thicknesses of tin foil may be pressed into a cavity with a

rubber point or hard piece of spunk, allowing it to come well out to the

margin; filling the rest with amalgam.

"As a lining it presents to dentin an amalgam of tin and mercury which

does not discolor the dentin like ordinary amalgam, and helps do away

with local currents on the filling, which is one cause of amalgam

shrinkage in the mouth." (Dr. S. B. Palmer.)

When caries extends to the bifurcation of roots, make a mat of two or

three layers of tin, place it in the bifurcation and use it as a base in

filling the rest of the cavity with amalgam.

Tin is second in importance in alloys for amalgam, as it increases

plasticity, prevents discoloration, reduces conductivity and edge

strength, retards setting, favors spheroiding, therefore should not be

the controlling metal.

It will be noticed that when cavities are lined with tin foil, it only

constitutes a small part of the filling, and that it has not been melted

with the other metals in the alloy before being amalgamated.

A thick mat of tin has been recommended as a partial non-conductor under

amalgam fillings.

Plastic tin can be made by pouring mercury into melted tin, or by mixing

the fillings with mercury at ordinary temperatures; it has a whitish

color, and if there is not too much mercury it occurs in the form of a

brittle granular mass of cubical crystals. Generally amalgams of tin and

mercury do not harden sufficiently, but forty-eight parts of mercury and

one hundred of tin make a fairly good filling, said to have a

therapeutical value; it should not be washed or squeezed before using,

and "is not a chemical combination."

"Tin unites with mercury in atomic proportions, forming a weak

crystalline compound." (Dr. E. C. Kirk.)

Mercury and tin readily unite as an amalgam under ordinary

circumstances, and form a definite chemical compound having the formula

Sn{2}Hg. (Hodgen.)

Another preparation of tin is known as stannous gold; it is manufactured

in heavy sheets and used the same as cohesive gold foil, and can be

easily manipulated, for it is rather plastic.

Crystal tin for taking the place of tin foil:

"Take chemically pure hydrochloric acid and dissolve tin foil in it

until a saturated solution is obtained; this may be done speedily by

heating the acid to a boiling point, or the same thing can be

accomplished in a few hours with the acid cold; it is then chlorid of

tin. It is then poured into a clean vessel and an equal quantity of

distilled water added; then a clean strip of zinc is plunged into the

solution, and tin crystals are deposited on the zinc; when there is

sufficient thickness on the zinc, remove both, and slip the crystals off

from the zinc into pure water, clean the zinc thoroughly, and reinsert

for another coating. The character of the crystallization will be

modified by the extent of the dilution of the solution in the first

place. Wash the tin in pure water until all traces of the acid are

removed, or a few drops of ammonia can be added to neutralize the acid.

It was suggested that it would be desirable to have some acid remain in

the tin for filling teeth in which there is no sensitive dentin. We have

put in a few fillings, and it works beautifully, and makes firmer

fillings than foil. It must be kept in water (probably alcohol is

better). It is pure tin, unites perfectly, and works easier than foil."

(Dr. Taft, Dental Register of the West, 1859.)

For some years it was considered the best practice to enlarge all

root-canals and fill them with gold; in many of these cases the crown

cavities were filled with tin.

Tin has been used for filling root-canals, but should there happen to be

any leakage through the foramen or tooth-structure, the tin will

discolor, and there may be infiltration into the crown, thus causing

discoloration, which might be objectionable if the crown was filled with

gold. Chloro-percha, gutta-percha, and oxychlorid of zinc are much

better for this purpose.

The apical quarter of a canal has been filled with tin, and the

remainder with cement. Tin can be used for filling root-canals. Roll on

a broach small triangular pieces of the foil into very small cone-shaped

cylinders, carry to place, then withdraw the broach, and force in the

cylinder with the same or a larger broach; sometimes it is necessary to

use another broach, to push the cylinder off from the one on which it is

rolled. Another method is to carry and pack into the canal by means of a

broach, very narrow strips of No. 10 or 20 foil; or the apical third of

the canal could be filled with gold and the rest with tin.

"About four years ago I concluded to try tin for filling root-canals;

then I began to look for patients whose general health was good, who had

strong, hardy-looking teeth, and kept their mouths in good condition. I

found one who answered all my requirements, with a molar to be filled,

and they would not have it filled with gold, or could not, on account of

the expense. I filled the canals with tin and the crown with amalgam.

After filling thirty-eight molars in this way I stopped for

developments. In six or seven weeks a lady returned with an inferior

molar abscessed, but at the time it was filled the circumstances were

such that it could not be properly treated. In nine months a gentleman

for whom I had filled four molars returned with an inferior one

abscessed. This is the sum-total of abscessed teeth where tin was used

in the root-canals, at the end of four years. The others are in good

condition, as I have seen them every six months. The roots were treated

from four to six weeks with carbolic acid before filling." (Dr. A. W.

Harlan, Missouri Dental Journal, 1872.)

"Tin foil is just as good as gold for filling root-canals, as it is

entirely innocuous and sufficiently indestructible, while its softness

and pliability commend it. Where gold is to be used for the crown, it is

better to fill the bulbous portion of the pulp-cavity with gold also, so

as to weld these portions of gold together. The success of Dr. Harlan's

treatment was about equal to what might be expected from the same number

of teeth where the canals had been filled with gold." (Editor, Missouri


Shavings turned from a disk of pure tin have been used in combination

with Watts's sponge gold for filling teeth, either by making a portion

of the filling from each metal or using them indiscriminately.

A mat of tin foil dipped in chloro-percha can be used to cap an exposed

pulp, or a concave tin disk can be used for the same purpose. A mat of

tin has been used over a slight exposure of the pulp, because of its

slight conduction of heat and cold, thus avoiding much thermal

irritation and stimulating recuperation.

Some use Robinson's fibrous material as a surface for tin fillings,

thinking that it is harder and will wear longer because of the erroneous

notion that it has platinum in it.