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Synthetic Dental Enamel

Enamel Research

During 2005, dental practitoners are researchers in Japan developed a paste-like product for treating caries that incorporated a nanocrystalline growth process.

The proprietary compound was comprised of modified hydroxyapatite containing fluoride. Chemically and structurally similar to natural enamel, the paste-like product was used to repair an early carious lesion in a mandibular premolar.

Within 15 minutes of treatment, following a specific protocol, a 20-micrometer-thick layer formed on the treated area.

The University of Michigan also reported during 2005 similar trials and findings.

Earlier, during 2002, BASF also developed a hydroxyapatite crystal film that makes teeth whiter and protects their surface. A component of natural tooth enamel, the Hydtoxyapatite needle-shaped crystals interconnect to form a film that is adsorbed to the surface of tooth enamel. The film was reported to seal micropores within the enamel, thereby protecting against tooth decay and tooth sensitivity.

BASF suggested these formulations could be added to tooth paste products or used as an independent treatment.

Research Continues

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, School of Dentistry at the University of Southern California (LA), Department of Preventive and Restorative Medicine at the University of California (San Francisco) and other facilities continue to study and develop methods for creating tissues for tooth treatments.

One of the commmonly shared goals is the development of replacement teeth that last longer than today's dental implants. Some researchers speculate it could be 10 years or more before their goals are realized.

Editorial Staff

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