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
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.
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