Polymer hybrids show promise for next-generation dental materials

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC in Würzburg, Germany, working in collaboration with research partners at Voco, have developed a hybrid material they say can be used for all the components used in root canal treatment.

"The basis of this material is provided by ORMOCERs (organically modified ceramics, also developed at Fraunhofer)," said Herbert Wolter, group manager at the ISC, in a press release. "We have combined these ORMOCERs with various nano- and microparticles to achieve the highly diverse properties needed."

Materials used in filling the root canal, for instance, should not shrink as they harden, should form an airtight bond with the dental material, and should be visible in x-rays. The material used to rebuild the tooth, on the other hand, should have the same properties as the tooth itself.

"Hybrid materials are well-suited to these requirements," said Wolter. "For instance, they only shrink by about 1.3% as they harden, while standard materials generally shrink by 2% to 4%. ORMOCERs can also be adapted to adhere to the different parts of the tooth."

Voco is already producing dental preparations, and product development is making good progress, the researchers said, and market launch could be only a few years away.

Page 1 of 177
Next Page