"Dentin adhesives bond well initially, but then the hybrid layer between the adhesive and the dentin begins to break down in as little as one year," says Dr. Franklin Tay, associate professor of endodontics in the MCG School of Dentistry. "When that happens, the restoration will eventually fail and come off the tooth."
Half of all tooth-colored restorations, which are made of composite resin, fail within 10 years, and about 60 percent of all operative dentistry involves replacing them, according to research in the Journal of the American Dental Association.
"Our adhesives are not as good as we thought they were, and that causes problems for the bonds," Dr. Tay says.
To make a bond, a dentist etches away some of the dentin's minerals with phosphoric acid to expose a network of collagen, known as the hybrid layer. Acid-etching is like priming a wall before it's painted; it prepares the tooth for application of an adhesive to the hybrid layer so that the resin can latch on to the collagen network. Unfortunately, the imperfect adhesives leave spaces inside the collagen that are not properly infiltrated with resin, leading to the bonds' failure.
Dr. Tay is trying to prevent the aging and degradation of resin-dentin bonding by feeding minerals back into the collagen network. With a two year, $252,497 grant from the National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research, he will investigate guided tissue remineralization, a new nanotechnology process of growing extremely small, mineral-rich crystals and guiding them into the demineralized gaps between collagen fibers.
His idea came from examining how crystals form in nature. "Eggshells and abalone [sea snail] shells are very strong and intriguing," Dr. Tay says. "We're trying to mimic nature, and we're learning a lot from observing how small animals make their shells."
The crystals, called hydroxyapatite, bond when proteins and minerals interact. Dr. Tay will use calcium phosphate, a mineral that's the primary component of dentin, enamel and bone, and two protein analogs also found in dentin so he can mimic nature while controlling the size of each crystal.
Crystal size is the real challenge, Dr. Tay says. Most crystals are grown from one small crystal into a larger, homogeneous one that is far too big to penetrate the spaces within the collagen network. Instead, Dr. Tay will fit the crystal into the space it needs to fill. "When crystals are formed, they don't have a definite shape, so they are easily guided into the nooks and crannies of the collagen matrix," he says.
In theory, the crystals should lock the minerals into the hybrid layer and prevent it from degrading. If Dr. Tay's concept of guided tissue remineralization works, he will create a delivery system to apply the crystals to the hybrid layer after the acid-etching process.
"Instead of dentists replacing the teeth with failed bonds, we're hoping that using these crystals during the bond-making process will provide the strength to save the bonds," Dr. Tay says. "Our end goal is that this material will repair a cavity on its own so that dentists don't have to fill the tooth."
Paula Hinely | EurekAlert!
One gene closer to regenerative therapy for muscular disorders
01.06.2017 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
The gut microbiota plays a key role in treatment with classic diabetes medication
01.06.2017 | University of Gothenburg
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.06.2017 | Information Technology