New material could mean fewer trips to the dentist's office

Dental fillings could last twice as long
Carmem Pfeifer, D.D.S., Ph.D. from the OHSU School of Dentistry is working to develop a filling material that is two times more resistant to breakage than standard fillings. Credit: OHSU/Kristyna Wentz-Graff

A compound used to make car bumpers strong and protect wood decks could prevent return visits to the dentist's office.

A team of researchers with the OHSU School of Dentistry in Portland, Oregon, have created a filling material that's two times more resistant to breakage than standard fillings, according to a study published by the journal Scientific Reports. The new filling uses the additive thiourethane, which is also in protective coatings for cars and decks.

The team also has developed an adhesive that's 30 percent stronger after six months in use than adhesives that are currently used to keep fillings in place. This new adhesive was described in a recent study published in the journal Dental Materials.

Combined, the new adhesive and the composite are designed to make longer-lasting dental restorations.

"Today's dental restorations typically only last seven to 10 years before they fail," said Carmem Pfeifer, D.D.S., Ph.D., corresponding author of the studies published in Scientific Reports and Dental Materials. Pfeifer is an associate professor of restorative (biomaterials and biomechanics) in the OHSU School of Dentistry.

"They crack under the pressure of chewing, or have gaps form between the filling and the tooth, which allow bacteria to seep in and a new cavity to form," Pfeifer said. "Every time this happens, the tooth under the restorations becomes weaker and weaker, and what starts as a small cavity may end up with root canal damage, a lost tooth or even life-threatening infections.

"Stronger mean patients won't have to get fillings repaired or replaced nearly as often," she said. "This not only saves them money and hassle, but also prevents more serious problems and more extensive treatment."

The adhesive described in the Dental Materials study uses a specific kind of polymer—known as (meth)acrylamides—that is much more resistant to damage in water, bacteria and enzymes in the mouth than standard adhesives currently used in dentistry. The composite material described in Scientific Reports uses thiourethane, which holds up much better to chewing.


Explore further

Scientists invent dental fillings that kill bacteria and remineralize the tooth

More information: Ana P. Fugolin et al. Use of (meth)acrylamides as alternative monomers in dental adhesive systems, Dental Materials (2019). DOI: 10.1016/j.dental.2019.02.012
Journal information: Scientific Reports

Citation: New material could mean fewer trips to the dentist's office (2019, March 4) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-03-material-dentist-office.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
16 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Mar 04, 2019
that person looks as if she just stepped out of a 1960s hippie photoshoot, is that purple hair?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more