These 3D Printed Teeth Clean Themselves
The 3D printed teeth are made of an antimicrobial resin that kills 99% of harmful bacteria in the mouth.
Nobody likes going to the dentist. The thought of having a filling or needing dental surgery is enough to scare people away forever.
Well, researchers at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands are looking to improve your dental health without increasing your time in the dentist chair. In fact, they might be keeping you away from the dentist altogether with new 3D printed teeth and braces that are actually good for your teeth.
The 3D printed teeth are made of an antimicrobial resin that kills 99% of harmful bacteria in the mouth, meaning the teeth basically clean themselves.
Researchers, who say the resin isn’t harmful to humans, tested their resin by coating it in a mixture of saliva and streptococcus mutans (the bacterium that causes tooth decay) and found that the material had a sterilizing effect on the bacteria.
“[W]e have a prototype at hand that is suited for further testing in a clinical setting, including not only dental applications but also, for instance, orthopedic ones like spacers and other polymeric parts used in total hip or knee arthroplasties,” the researchers write in their paper. “Moreover, the approach to developing 3D printable antimicrobial polymers can easily be transferred to other non-medical application areas, such as food packaging, water purification, or even toys for children.”
“For clinical use we need to extend this [research], and investigate the compatibility with toothpaste,” says Andreas Herrmann, one of the researchers., but the researchers are confident for the prospects of antimicrobial dental implants. “It’s a medical product with a foreseeable application in the near future, much less time than developing a new drug.”
In addition, the innovation could be transferred to non-medical applications such as water purification, food packaging and children’s’ toys.