If you’re like most patients, you dread having cavities filled. But what if you could have a cavity filled with a material that kills bacteria and prevents tooth decay? Some scientists at the University of Pennsylvania recently evaluated a new filling material that kills bacteria without compromising its durability. 

Rendering of three teeth filled with different materials.

Superior to Existing Antibacterial Filling Materials

There are some antibacterial dental composite materials available for dentists to choose from to fill cavities. However, these existing antibacterial filling materials work differently, by releasing compounds to kill bacteria in your mouth off slowly. These dental compounds can be toxic to the surrounding gum tissue and can train bacteria to have a resistance. In addition, these existing antibacterial composite materials aren’t very durable.

The new filling material that the University of Pennsylvania studied consists of a resin impregnated with imidazolium. Unlike other antibacterial filling materials, the resin used in the new composite is non-leachable, so the imidazolium stays in the filling itself, not your mouth. This means that only the microbes that touch the filling die and it won’t cause further damage to your mouth. 

Most importantly, the new antibacterial filling material is durable. It is capable of withstanding biting and chewing, so you don’t have to worry about it breaking apart in your mouth. This may cause more dentists to recommend it to their patients as a nontoxic, durable, and beneficial alternative.

How It Performed

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania wanted to test how well the new antibacterial filling material worked at keeping plaque away. The new material was highly effective, allowing only a small amount of the material to grow on it. This small amount of plaque was easy to remove. 

They compared the new filling composite against conventional dental materials used to fill a cavity. Four times as much plaque grew on the surface of the traditional dental filling material as on the new material. The more plaque, the more force it took to remove it.

Additionally, conventional dental materials are more vulnerable to decay from plaque. When a large amount of plaque is left to accumulate on the exterior of a filling or natural tooth enamel, it will decay. If a patient does not come into the office for regular, professional cleanings, this can impact the lifespan of the restorative procedure, costing patients more money and frustration in the long run. An effective, safe, and durable antibacterial filling composite could make a difference for these patients.

At Family Dental Care of Bellevue, we are committed to providing quality dental care to our patients and their families. We are proud to have been voted one of the best dental offices in Washington State. If you are ready to take the first steps toward improving your dental health, we invite you to call 425-643-5778 today to make an appointment for your initial consultation.

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