Physicists and dentists working together have developed a new non-toxic and strong tooth filling material made of glass cement.
The results of their work are published in the scientific journal, Scientific Reports.
The material often used today is a composite filling material made of acrylate compounds which resembles the colour of the teeth and is strong so it can handle the rigours of chewing.
However, the drawback is that the fillings need to be glued and need to be replaced more frequently.
Amalgam had been the common filling but the disadvantage is it contains mercury which is a poison.
The researchers have come up with a glass ioner which can be ground up and mixed with liquid so that it doesn’t need a glue to put it in place.
And it doesn’t need to be illuminated with a lamp to harden, which is necessary for composite materials.
“Glass ionomer cement has the advantage that it does not need an intermediate layer of adhesive to bond to the tooth and it also has the interesting property in that it releases fluoride, which of course help to prevent cavities,”says Ana Benetti, dentist and researcher at the Odontological Institute at the University of Copenhagen.
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