Researchers at Maryland University School of Dentistry have managed to fill a dental cavity using nanotechnology in a material that not only kills the harmful bacteria, but is also able to regenerate the tooth structure that is lost to decay.
Professor Huakun Xu from Maryland University School of Dentistry, who led the new study, says that the new material not only limits the decay of the teeth, but also remineralizes the tooth.
When a cavity is prepared by a dentist for filling, some bacteria are still left within it as it is not possible for the dentist to remove them. In the current study, researchers added antibacterial agents into silver nanoparticles and the adhesives used to prepare and fill the drilled out cavity.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Professor Xu said, "The reason we want to get the antibacterial agents also into primers and adhesives is that these are the first things that cover the internal surfaces of the tooth cavity and flow into tiny dental tubules inside the tooth."
The next task of the current team is to test the material in animal studies and in human volunteers. The team will collaborate with the Federal University of Ceara in Brazil for this initiative.