- About Us
- Career Center
- Nano-Social Network
- Nano Consulting
- My Account
|A calcium phosphate nanocomposite filling in a tooth. The nanocomposite can "smartly" release decay-fighting agents to buffer against acids produced by bacteria, and rebuild the lost tooth minerals by releasing ions into the mineral-deficient area of the tooth.|
The mouth is a tough environment—which is why dentists do not give lifetime guarantees. Despite their best efforts, a filling may eventually crack under the stress of biting, chewing and teeth grinding, or secondary decay may develop where the filling binds to the tooth. Fully 70 percent of all dental procedures involve replacements to existing repairs, at a cost of $5 billion per year in the United States alone.
Now, however, scientists at the American Dental Association's Paffenbarger Research Center, a joint research program at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), have shown that nanotechnology has the potential to lessen that toll by producing tooth restorations that are both stronger than any decay-fighting fillings available today, and more effective at preventing secondary decay. They report their findings in a recent issue of The Journal of Dental Research.*
The researchers' new technique solves a problem with the standard composite resin filling, a natural-looking restoration that is the method of choice when appearance is an issue. A dentist creates the filling by mixing the pure liquid resin with a powder that contains coloring, reinforcement and other materials, packing the resulting paste into the cavity, and illuminating the tooth with a light that causes the paste to polymerize and harden. For decay-fighting composite fillings, the problem arises from an additive that is included in the powder to provide a steady release of calcium and phosphate ions. These ions are essential to the long-term success of the filling because they not only strengthen the crystal structure of the tooth itself, but buffer it against the decay-causing acid produced by bacteria in the mouth. Yet the available ion-releasing compounds are structurally quite weak, to the point where they weaken the filling as a whole.
To get around this conundrum, the Paffenbarger researchers have devised a spray-drying technique that yields particles of several such compounds, one of which being dicalcium phosphate anhydrous, or DCPA, that are about 50 nanometers across—20 times smaller than the 1-micrometer particles in a conventional DCPA powder. Because these nanoscale particles have a much higher surface to volume ratio, they are much more effective at releasing ions, which means that much less of the material is required to produce the same effect. That, in turn, leaves more room in the resin for reinforcing fibers that strengthen the final filling. To exploit that opportunity, the Paffenbarger researchers also have developed nanoscale silica-fused fibers that produce a composite resin nearly twice as strong as the currently available commercial variety.
* H.H.K. Xu, M.D. Weir, L. Sun, S. Takagi and L.C. Chow. Effects of calcium phosphate nanoparticles on Ca-PO4 composite, J Dent Res 86(4):378-383m 2007.
About National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
From automated teller machines and atomic clocks to mammograms and semiconductors, innumerable products and services rely in some way on technology, measurement, and standards provided by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
Founded in 1901, NIST is a non-regulatory federal agency within the U.S. Commerce Department's Technology Administration. NIST's mission is to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life.
For more information, please click here
Michael E. Newman
Copyright © National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)If you have a comment, please Contact us.
Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.
|Related News Press|
Move over, solar: The next big renewable energy source could be at our feet October 20th, 2016
Unusual quantum liquid on crystal surface could inspire future electronics October 22nd, 2016
Nanosciences: Genes on the rack October 21st, 2016
Nanoparticle vaccinates mice against dengue fever October 21st, 2016
Call for NanoArt and Art-Science-Technology Papers June 9th, 2016
Are humans the new supercomputer?Today, people of all backgrounds can contribute to solving serious scientific problems by playing computer games. A Danish research group has extended the limits of quantum physics calculations and simultaneously blurred the boundaries between mac April 14th, 2016
STMicroelectronics’ Semiconductor Chips Contribute to Connected Toothbrush from Oral-B That Sees What You Don’t: Microcontroller and Accelerometer help brushers clean their teeth more effectively October 4th, 2016
Iran to hold intl. school on application of nanomaterials in medicine September 20th, 2016
Tooth decay -- drilling down to the nanoscale: Researchers from the University of Sydney believe they have identified some nanoscale elements that govern the behavior of our teeth September 11th, 2016