New Breakthroughs on Antibacterial Fillings Material

Creating antibacterial fillings was the goal of a new study done by researchers at Tel Aviv University. This is good news for dental patients.

Amalgam Fillings Replaced by Resin Fillings

Back in the day, all dentists used amalgam fillings and they contained metal alloys.  Metal alloy fillings did a good job of resisting bacteria. However, concerns arose about the effects of mercury contained in the alloy. Mercury can have a toxic effect and cause harm.

The physical appearance of the fillings was another concern. The shiny metal wasn’t as aesthetically pleasing as a filling that would blend with tooth color.

Resin-based fillings became a new alternative. They approximated the color of teeth. Many people with cosmetic concerns preferred the lighter look of resin-based fillings. Consequently, these fillings became popular. But there was a problem. While alleviating the mercury problem, the resin fillings didn’t offer the same degree of antibacterial protection.

To compound the problem, bacteria has become more and more resistant to antibiotics. According to a Science Daily article, antibiotic resistance is a pressing healthcare issue today. In addition, when bacteria build up on the surfaces of teeth, the enamel erodes and cavities can reoccur. Secondary tooth decay takes place around the tooth restoration due to the acid that bacteria produces.

How Researchers Created Antibacterial Fillings

The new material the researchers tested solved the filling problem through the following benefits. The material:

  • Resisted bacteria through antibacterial nano-assemblies incorporated into the material
  • Appeared aesthetically pleasing
  • Was mechanically rigid (longer lasting)

The researchers used nano-assemblies as building blocks. The nano structure was a self-assembling feature. Furthermore, the building block proved to be antibacterial. The result was the ability to embed nano assemblies into resin-based materials and create an antibacterial filling.

While this new type of filling is still in the testing stages, it promises a brighter future for cavity prevention.

Do You Have Concerns about Your Teeth?

At Hutto Hippo Family Dental, our dentists can help you stay on top of dental care for yourself and your loved ones.