Home > Press > Research Fills Dental Need
South Dakota Tech research group is investigating a new type of nanotech enabled dental filling.
Research Fills Dental Need
Rapid City, SD – November 05, 2004
South Dakota Tech research group is investigating a new type of dental filling that looks better, lasts longer, and has fewer safety concerns than the silver fillings widely used today.
Dr. Hao Fong and his research group are using a $64,905 grant from the National Institutes of Health/National Dental and Craniofacial Research to fund the first year of a two-year research project. Fong’s research focuses on improving the polymer composite fillings already in use, despite their drawbacks. Polymer fillings stain, shrink and wear much more quickly than silver fillings, so they must be replaced in a fraction of the time.
Fong is an assistant professor in Tech’s Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, and he is one of the leading scientists nationwide in the field of “electrospinning and nanofibers.”
“Improving the mechanical properties and reducing internal stresses have been among the major research efforts for polymeric dental restorative composites for decades,” Fong said. “If successful, this research may lead to the next generation dental restorative composite filling material, which will eventually benefit everyone who needs to repair a tooth cavity.”
To accomplish that, Fong is using electrospun polymer nanofibers to create the filling material. Electrospinning is a technology that produces unique polymer nanofibers with diameters typically in the range from 50 nanometers to 500 nanometers. The diameter of a human hair is 4,000 times greater than that of a nanofiber.
The electrospun polymer nanofibers possess extraordinary structural perfection and are mechanically strong. The finished material will be white to match the tooth it fills.
The research is important because traditional fillings — called amalgams — have created controversy over the years. Most people recognize dental amalgams as silver fillings. Dental amalgam is a mixture of mercury, and an alloy of silver, tin and copper.
Mercury generally makes up 45 to 50 percent of the compound, and is used to bind the metals together and to provide a strong, hard, durable filling. After years of research, mercury has been found to be the only element that will bind these metals together in such a way that can be easily manipulated into a tooth cavity.
However, some people believe that the mercury in tooth fillings can cause medical problems, including kidney, intestinal, neurological, fertility, heart, and other concerns.
The nanofiber research being conducted by Dr. Fong and his associates at South Dakota Tech will go a long way toward the elimination of these health worries.
501 East Saint Joseph Street
Rapid City, SD 57701
Copyright © South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
If you have a comment, please
Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.
Imaging electric charge propagating along microbial nanowires October 20th, 2014
Superconducting circuits, simplified: New circuit design could unlock the power of experimental superconducting computer chips October 18th, 2014
Nanocoatings Market By Product Is Expected To Reach USD 8.17 Billion By 2020: Grand View Research, Inc. October 15th, 2014
Perpetuus Carbon Group Receives Independent Verification of its Production Capacity for Graphenes at 140 Tonnes per Annum: Perpetuus Becomes the First Manufacturer in the Sector to Allow Third Party Audit October 7th, 2014
TARA Biosystems and Harris & Harris Group Form Company to Improve Safety and Efficacy of New Therapies October 22nd, 2014
Arrowhead Issues Open Letter to Shareholders October 9th, 2014
PEN Inc. Announces New Trading Symbol: PENC: Stock Continues Trading on the OTCQB September 3rd, 2014
Aspen Aerogels, Inc. to Present at Barclays CEO Energy-Power Conference August 27th, 2014
Nano Ruffles in Brain Matter: Freiburg researchers decipher the role of nanostructures around brain cells in central nervous system function October 31st, 2014
Gold nanoparticle chains confine light to the nanoscale October 31st, 2014
'Nanomotor lithography' answers call for affordable, simpler device manufacturing October 31st, 2014
Device invented at Johns Hopkins provides up-close look at cancer on the move: Microscopic view of metastasis could give insight about how to keep cancer in check October 31st, 2014