Scientists at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry are developing nanotechnology that rebuilds the structure of the tooth.
One of the San Francisco dentists, Dr. Greg Larson, is interested in how this technology will develop. These composites could help patients with cavities control the damage and repair key tooth minerals.
Dentists remove decay from teeth before implementing fillings. Studies at UM’s School of Dentistry are showing that it’s impossible to eradicate all the damaged tissue during this process. Small amounts of bacteria will be left behind. The nanocomposites created can offset the bacteria’s damage, effectively keeping harmful bacteria at bay.
The team conducting the research has inserted antibacterial agents in primers and adhesives. Primers are used after your dentist prepares a tooth for a filling. Your dentist then coats the cavity with adhesives to help the filling fix securely in place. These new antibacterial primers and adhesives will destroy residual bacteria.
“The reason we want to get the antibacterial agents also into primers and adhesives is that these are the first things that cover the internal surfaces of the tooth cavity and flow into tiny dental tubules inside the tooth,” the research team reports.
These new filling composites contain nanoparticles of calcium phosphate. Calcium phosphate restores key minerals in your teeth. The fillings also contain high pH levels to hinder bacteria from producing acids.
These new fillings are made to last longer than the normal five to 10 years, though more research is needed to determine exactly how much longer.
The next step is to test the product in animal and human teeth. The research team will work with the Federal University of Ceara in Brazil. The human teeth will be from volunteers. Researchers interested in this product’s development should contact the Office of Technology Transfer at UM. OTT licensing officer Nancy Cowger, PhD, says patents are pending on the primer and adhesive components and also the nanocomposite.
Dr. Larson, a provider of neuromuscular dentistry in San Francisco who also restores dental implants in Walnut Creek & Oakland, will watch this research unfold, as it will help patients maintain superb oral health. Dr. Larson also practices cosmetic, general and sedation dentistry, and he straightens smiles with his San Francisco Invisalign invisible braces services.
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