Bioactive glass if used in dental fillings can make teeth last for longer period, engineers at Oregon State University said.
Bioactive glass is a crushed glass containing compounds such as calcium oxide, silicon oxide and phosphorus oxide. The glass has been used for decades in some types of bone healing, but it is new in dentistry.
Researchers assume that Bioactive glass when used in composite tooth fillings would prevent bacteria from attacking the filling, thus making them last for longer period. This transformation is important for the future of dental fillings as over 122 million composite tooth restorations are made in the US over each year.
Researchers have used extracted human molars to make samples that stimulate the human mouth. Composite fillings consisting 15 per cent bioactive glass is placed in few samples and non-bioactive composite fillings is placed in others. Microscopic gaps were formed around the fillings before tooth-decaying bacteria were added.
The results proved that in the samples with bioactive glass fillings, there was a reduction of 61 percent bacterial penetration into the gaps, lessening their ability to attack the fillings. While in the other samples there is 100 percent penetration.
Bioactive glass has the antimicrobial properties due to some icons such as phosphate and calcium, which have a toxic effect on bacteria. Bioactive glass not only reduces tooth decay but the minerals present in it can help replace the lost ones, making it a lasting tooth filling.
Experts opined that the bacteria in the mouth don’t like this glass and are less likely to colonize the fillings. Bioactive glass would probably have a great impact on the future of dentistry.