DENTAL NEWS: The fight against tooth decay gets help with a new smart material


When patients go to the dentist to fill a cavity, they're trying to solve a problem -- not create a new one. But many dental patients get some bad news: bacteria can dig under their tooth-coloured fillings and cause new cavities, called recurrent caries. 



These recurrent caries affect 100 million patients every year and cost an additional US$34 billion to treat.


Now, a research collaboration between the Department of Materials Science & Engineering, Faculty of Dentistry, and the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto has resulted in a novel way to minimize recurrent caries.

In a recent paper published in the journal Scientific Reports, professors Ben Hatton, Yoav Finer and PhD student Cameron Stewart tackled the issue and proposed a novel solution: a filling material with tiny particles made by self-assembly of antimicrobial drugs, designed to stop bacteria in its tracks. 

These particles may solve one of the biggest problems with antibacterial filling materials: how do you store enough drug within the material to be effective for someone's entire life?

ScienceDaily