UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND, SCHOOL OF DENTISTRY, MARYLAND, USA. The first-ever bacteria-killing dental fillings have been created by scientists using nanotechnology. It works by killing harmful bacteria and restores the tooth structure that has been destroyed by bacterial decay. This new technology does not just help as fillers but it also acts as a revolutionary dental weapon against harmful mouth bacteria. It also adapts well to the natural colony of microorganisms in the mouth.
Normally, organic acids secreted by the bacteria in plaques on the tooth’s surface dissolve the natural mineral content of the tooth. It is also more commonly known as tooth decay. The mineral in the tooth’s natural structure is decreased by the carbohydrates that are turned into organic acids by bacteria. Even if the dentist drills out the tooth that has been decayed, there will still be bacteria residues left in the cavity. It is impossible for all the damaged tissue to be removed so the best way to deal with it is to neutralize the harmful effects of bacteria instead.
Professor Huakun Xu, PhD, MS is also the director of the Division of Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering in the School’s Department of Endodontics, Prosthodontics and Operative Dentistry. He and his team of researchers have created antibacterial primer and adhesives that can be spread into a drilled-out cavity. It has been made to stick tight to the tissue of the tooth that has been drilled-out. That way, the restoration process of the tooth’s surface will become more effective since the primer and the adhesive used to fill it up have antibacterial agents.
The reason why drilled-out tooth continue to develop bacteria despite the usual cavity fillers is because there are bacteria left in tiny dental tubules. The bacteria-killing fillers are made using calcium phosphate nanoparticles which help regenerate tooth minerals. It has quaternary ammonium and silver nanoparticle as base and a high pH level. At the same time, the production of the bacterial acid is prevented by the alkaline pH.
The team of researchers is planning to test this technology in human volunteers, as well as in animal teeth with the help of the Federal University of Ceara in Brazil. As of now, it has only been laboratory tested with the use of biofilms that came from the saliva of some volunteers. It is continuously being improved to become stronger and more remineralizing to make sure that it will last longer.
|Invention||Bacteria-killing Dental Fillings|
|Organization||University of Maryland, School of Dentistry, Maryland, USA|
|Researcher||Professor Huakun Xu and team|
|Field(s)||Nanotechnology, Endodontics, Prosthodontics, Operative Dentistry, Biomaterials, Tissue Engineering|
|Further Information||Phys Org|