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Antiquity Of Tin And Medical Use
Dealing With Sensitive Cavities
Discoloration Of Tin And Decomposition Of Food
Fibrous And Textile Metallic Filling
History Of The Use Of Tin Foil Pre 1850
History Of Tin Foil In The Era 1845-1895
Lining The Cavity And Filling Root Canals
Opinions On Tin Foil And Reasons For Using
Starting The Filling

Tin Foil And Its Combinations For Filling

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 burnisher. 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.

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