A new type of innovative dental filling has been developed that can help to actively repair signs of tooth decay.
Created by the University of Queen Mary London in partnership with BioMin Technologies, the bioactive glass composite fillings are able to interact positively with the body, providing minerals to replace those lost to tooth decay.
“Innovative dental fillings with the ability to help actively repair tooth decay have been developed by UK researchers.“
These fillings create an alkaline environment that discourages the bacteria that caused the initial decay, while releasing fluoride and significant quantities of calcium and phosphate to form tooth minerals.
As such, they are able to extend the life of composite fillings and reduce the need for mercury-based amalgams. They could therefore be instrumental in assisting industry efforts to eliminate mercury-based amalgam fillings by 2020, as outlined in a host of international agreements.
Professor Robert Hill, chair of physical sciences at the Institute of Dentistry at Queen Mary University of London and director of research at BioMin Technologies, said: "Research in the US suggests this will potentially prolong the life of fillings and slow secondary tooth decay because the depth of bacterial penetration with bioactive glass fillings was significantly smaller than for inert fillings."
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