Thursday, January 14, 2016

Antibacterial Teeth

            Even though it is still in its early stages, there are researchers in the Netherlands developing an Antibacterial replacement tooth that can be 3-D printed. It would be made of a plastic infused with ammonium salts to combat unwanted bacteria. And even better, it could be made in the dental office.
            They tested 2 sets of replacement teeth against each other. One was the traditional dental resin, and the other was made with infused ammonium salts. They applied streptococcus mutans (cavity causing bacteria) to both sets of teeth and found 99% was eliminated on the set with ammonium salts while almost all remained on the control set.
            The next question to ask is whether this new type of replacement tooth eliminates both good and bad bacteria? Some bacteria in our mouth are good and help keep our bodies healthy by fighting unwanted organisms, so we obviously don’t want to get rid of all bacteria. While there is still a lot of research to be done, there is no reason to believe that antibacterial teeth would kill off all the bacteria in the mouth.  "Given that the material works on contact, it is likely that teeth or fillings made from the material would only kill bacteria in a limited radius," ADA officials said. "Whether teeth or fillings made from this material could have any effect on other bacterial strains, or even function in a real human mouth, has not yet been determined."
            Much more research is required to find the answer. This material needs to be tested on more conditions and over a longer period of time. How will toothpaste, saliva, and different medications impact its efficacy?
            If we find that it can positively affect the teeth and your oral health, this could be a major breakthrough for dentistry. The goal is to continue to find more ways to preventative and proactive in dental treatment.

For more information, visit

Lee T. Brown, DDS

Brown and Kupper, DDS Inc.

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