Dr Lester Sawicki, Guest Writer
Today’s science of nano-technology has advanced dental fillings far beyond bees wax used in Europe over 6000 years ago.
Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry are currently developing and testing a nano-technology tooth colored resin composite cavity-filling that kills harmful bacteria and regenerates tooth structure destroyed by bacterial decay. The new dental composites will have antibacterial properties which are also being incorporated into the advanced primer and bonding liquids that make the filling stick to the tooth tissues. Coating the inside of the tooth tissue with the new sticking agents and then filling the cavity hole with antibacterial nano-composites will, hopefully, kill tooth decay forming bacteria while maintaining the integrity of the filling for many years more than our prior best long lasting mercury silver fillings.
A key component of the new nano-composite filling and nano-structured liquid adhesive is calcium phosphate nano-particles that remineralize the injured tooth. The antibacterial component has a base of quaternary ammonium andsilver nano-particles along with a high pH which limits acid production by tooth bacteria.
The main reason for failure of modern tooth colored fillings is secondary caries or decay at the filling margins. When a dentist drills out a decayed tooth, iatrogenic damage due to high speed drilling drives residual bacteria deeper into the tooth. It’s not possible for a dentist to remove all the damaged and infected tissue, so it’s important to neutralize the harmful effects of the bacteria with antibacterial chemical scrubs, rinses, and coatings. Antibacterial dental composites would ensure greater longer lasting protection against infective tooth decay.
Intensive research has been directed to finding a durable biocompatible cosmetic dental filling material that lasts longer in a “large” cavity than today’s average of 7 – 10 years. (Small composite fillings, can last as long as small silver ones.) Still today, in a large majority of cases, large mercury silver fillings typically last twice as long as big cosmetic white fillings and that’s one reason some dentists still recommend silver when the cavity size is extensive. Many dentists are returning to the older tried and true silver by resisting social pressures to replace large ugly amalgam with beautiful white because of both the proven longevity and iatrogenic issues, along with cost to patient. (If you’re concerned about mercury you might be interested to know that some studies have shown the mercury in “old” amalgams to be less toxic than thought.)
The new antibacterial dental composites could be available soon. Ask your dentist if your current state of oral health can be controlled with minimally invasive dentistry and remineralizing agents until that day arrives.
About the Author
Dr. Lester Sawicki, a graduate of Loyola Dental School in Chicago, is an independent general dentist, practicing for more than 37 years. In 1983, he began studying nutrition and alternative health, and since 2004 has been devoted to intensive research into the relationship between whole body detoxification and longevity. He is the author of several books on dentistry written for the general public, all available at Amazon. Visit his blog: White Teeth Black Tongue Dr. Sawicki’s personal interests include martial arts and meditation. For over 30 years he has been a practicing student of Tai Chi, having met many Tai Chi and Qi Gong Masters both in the United States and China. His home is in Austin, Texas. Contact email: [email protected]
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