Diamonds Just May a Tooth’s Best Friend

Diamonds Just May a Tooth’s Best Friend

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THE SCIENCE OF SMILES®Diamonds may shine bright and sparkle, but have you considered putting that bling in your mouth?

UCLA scientists have — and they’ve come up with something truly fascinating.

Safer and Stronger

A report from the American Chemistry Social journal Nano shows that nanodiamonds — which are literally microscopic diamond chips — have the potential to improve root canals, making them stronger and protecting them against infection.

Normally during root canals, a dentist will clear out damaged or infected pulp from deep inside a tooth and then fill that space with a rubber compound called gutta-percha.  If the patient’s tooth gets infected, or the root canal fails, another procedure is required. In order to avoid this, scientists have been experimenting with other types of filler material.

A New Type of Compound

Enter nanodiamonds.

At UCLA, a team of researchers combined nanodiamonds —  so tiny that millions could fit on the head of the pin — with gutta-percha and the amoxicillin antibiotic to form a new kind of filler compound.

The diamonds, the researchers said, were useful because of their “versatile faceted surface chemistry, bio-compatibility and their role in improving mechanical properties.”

What did they discover? The nanodiamond compound is stronger than plain gutta-percha, and it has the added advantage of being able to kill bacteria.

The nanodiamond root canal filler has not been tested on humans yet — so the jury’s still out on whether the term “diamonds are forever” can be applied to teeth.

Stay tuned.

About THE SCIENCE OF SMILES®

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Diamonds Just May a Tooth's Best Friend 1

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