Your Dentist is Blown Away by Breakthrough Dental Material

According to new research coming out of the University of Pennsylvania, test results on a new dental material show significant promise for future dental treatments. Dentists and patients all over have reason to get excited as the breakthrough could change dentistry forever.

Since the data is new, your dentist is just now learning about it. To learn about the material, the research, and how it could change your future dental exams, keep reading!


The Research

In a recent study, researchers evaluated a new dental material tethered with antimicrobial compounds. They found that not only does the new material kill existing bacteria, but it also resists future biofilm growth. After comparing two materials covered with Streptococcus mutans, a biofilm considered to be a common cause of tooth decay, researchers found it was much easier to remove the biofilm from the newly developed dental material than the control.

The researchers also evaluated the amount of forced needed to remove the remaining biofilm. Since the dental material doesn’t completely do so, it’s important to note how much additional force is needed for patients to remove it. According to research assistant professor at Penn’s School of Dental Medicine Geelsu Hwang, “the force equivalent to taking a drink of water could easily remove the biofilm from this material” as reported by ScienceDaily. Scientists consider this to be a breakthrough for reducing dental plaque buildup.


What the Scientists are Saying

According to Hwang, dental materials need to achieve two major functions before they can be used by professionals. “First, they should kill pathogenic microbes effectively, and, second, they need to withstand severe mechanical stress, as happens when we bite and chew.” He goes on to explain why this dental materials’ outstanding mechanical properties are significant.

“Many products need large amounts of anti-microbial agents to maximize killing efficacy, which can weaken the mechanical properties and be toxic to tissues” says Hwang. However, this new material has proven to be effective with minimal toxicity to the surrounding tissue. Unlike other biomaterials, this one is non-leachable, meaning it is only designed to kill microbes touching it. This reduces the chances of it toxifying healthy cells, even under high stress.


The Effects on Dentists and the Dental Industry

When dentists treat cavities with fillings, they have a choice between silver or composite resin to plug the holes in their teeth and prevent bacteria from getting in. If this new dental material becomes a standard for fillings in dental practices, it could dramatically decrease the rate of tooth decay people experience across the country. Less plaque buildup means less tooth loss and cases of gum disease.

If dentists don’t have to spend as much time cleaning plaque or treating gum disease, they can use their resources on other necessary dental treatments to help their patients. It also means patients can save money and experience less pain and discomfort that comes with tooth decay and gum disease.

Consult your dentist to learn more about removing plaque and retaining a healthier mouth at your next appointment!


About the Author

Dr. Zamora earned her undergraduate degree in Biomedical Science from Texas State University followed by her Doctor of Dental Medicine degree at Oregon Health & Science University. Her additional training focused on pediatric dentistry as well as pathology. She’s always staying up-to-date on scientific research and developments in all areas of her field. To contact her, visit her website.

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