3-D Printed Antimicrobial Teeth May Soon Be A Possibility

Healthline (1/14, Barrett) reports that “the rapid evolution of 3-D printing technology in the dental industry will soon expand beyond simply creating crowns or dentures to incorporate chemicals that fight the bacteria that cause tooth decay and infection in the first place.” Researchers from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands have reportedly “developed an antimicrobial plastic infused with quaternary ammonium salts that can eventually be used with 3-D printers to manufacture a variety of bacteria-zapping dental appliances within minutes, right in a dentist’s office.” A studypublished in the journal Advanced Functional Materials showed that after applying the bacteria Streptococcus mutans to printed teeth, one set with the ammonium salts mixed into the dental resin and the other without, “99 percent of the bacteria was eliminated from the treated teeth while almost all of the bacteria remained on the control set.”

1) researchers are currently working on an antimicrobial dental restorative material. Imagine having a filling or a crown placed and the restoration itself fights decay! This would be an incredible breakthrough in our field and we’ll be following its development closely.

2)Juicers are urged to use caution. Fruits and vegetables naturally have acids and tend to become even more acidic in juice form. These acids can erode away the enamel of our teeth over time. We recommend following any smoothie or juice drink with a quick water rinse to neutralize the acids and raise the pH in your mouth. Our teeth also really benefit from the cleansing action of eating whole foods. In other words, eating a carrot is better for your teeth than drinking one.

3) February is the 75th anniversary of National Children’s dental health month. Make sure you encourage the little ones in your life to keep their teeth healthy with regular brushing and flossing and to see their dentist twice a year.