Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Tooth surfaces - Polished to perfection

11.07.2008
Dentists use special polish to make teeth shiny white again. A new measuring technique determines the effect of dental care products and helps to optimize them so they polish the rough tooth surfaces until they are perfectly smooth, but preserve the tooth enamel.

Brush your teeth twice a day! Any child knows these days that regular tooth care is the only way to banish the bacteria that cause caries. Yet sometimes that is not enough. The tooth surface wears down and gets uneven – and the problem is that dental plaque adheres particularly well to a rough surface.

Dentists therefore offer professional cleaning services, removing plaque and discoloration with abrasive prophylactic pastes. This renders the tooth surface beautifully smooth, making it difficult for bacteria to gain a foothold.

Yet there is a risk that the polishing treatment will also grind away precious tooth enamel and dentin at the exposed necks of teeth. The manufacturers therefore have to find the happy medium when developing their prophylactic pastes: The pastes should be just abrasive enough to remove superficial discoloration and plaque, but preferably not wear down the tooth enamel.

Until now, scientists lacked any realistic objective measuring techniques to assess tooth abrasion caused by chewing and by the effect of toothpastes. A leading manufacturer of dental hygiene products asked the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM in Freiburg, one of whose specialties is the analysis and visualization of surface roughness, to help them develop new prophylactic pastes. The effectiveness of a prophylactic paste has so far been measured by how well the granules that it contains are able to smoothen a rough surface. The test is performed by first roughening tooth enamel or denture materials such as ceramics and titanium to a precisely defined value with an aggressive grinding material.

But this does not truly reflect reality, as chewing wears out different materials at different rates. The new measuring method developed by the IWM researchers, a kind of chewing simulation, takes this factor into account. As the experts led by Dr. Raimund Jaeger, head of the Biomedical Materials and Implants department, discovered when comparing pastes and subsequently analyzing the surfaces, some pastes polish the surface but also unnecessarily ablate the tooth material, producing slight grooves on the tooth surface.

The ideal paste, on the other hand, polishes so lightly that only the roughness is eliminated while the tooth enamel is hardly ground at all. “Obviously, every case is different,” says Jaeger. “Teeth with particularly heavy plaque or discoloration will need a more abrasive paste.” Normally, however, a gentler prophylactic paste will do the job. Thanks to the IWM researchers, the manufacturer has now been able to optimize the formulation.

Dr. Raimund Jaeger | alfa
Further information:
http://www.zv.fraunhofer.de
http://www.fraunhofer.de/EN/press/pi/2008/07/ResearchNews072008Topic4.jsp

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Routing gene therapy directly into the brain
07.12.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital

nachricht New Hope for Cancer Therapies: Targeted Monitoring may help Improve Tumor Treatment
01.12.2017 | Berliner Institut für Gesundheitsforschung / Berlin Institute of Health (BIH)

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

Im Focus: Virtual Reality for Bacteria

An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications

Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...

Im Focus: A space-time sensor for light-matter interactions

Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.

The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Midwife and signpost for photons

11.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

How do megacities impact coastal seas? Searching for evidence in Chinese marginal seas

11.12.2017 | Earth Sciences

PhoxTroT: Optical Interconnect Technologies Revolutionized Data Centers and HPC Systems

11.12.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>