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New Antibacterial, Cariostatic Coating Aids Pulpal Regeneration


Research teamIn a development that may bring a paradigm shift in oral healthcare, researchers from the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine have formulated a dental coating that inhibits the bacteria associated with caries. In addition to shedding pathogenic oral biofilms, the novel coating, made from acrylated hydroxyazobenzenes (AHA), helps regenerate dental pulp. Commenting on the breakthrough, Michael J. Schurr, PhD, an associate professor of immunology and microbiology, says the multidisciplinary effort resulted in a genus-specific antibiotic not previously known to medicine or dentistry.

The team, consisting of a microbiologist, dentist, and a material scientist, discovered that when the AHA coating was applied to teeth, it killed pathogenic bacteria. Reporting in the paper, “Acrylated Hydroxyazobenzene Copolymers in Composite-Resin Matrix Inhibits Streptococcus mutans Biofilms In Vitro,” published in Pediatric Dentistry, the investigators note that when the material interacts with light, it works at a molecular level to disperse biofilms and inhibit bacterial attachment. In addition to its ability to selectively inhibit caries-causing bacteria, the material demonstrates promising regenerative potential.

Compared to current dental materials, the AHA coating offers the advantages of no internal staining or tooth resorption, ease of application (which reduces chairtime), and the ability to prevent plaque and secondary caries around existing restorations. But perhaps its most exciting attribute, say researchers, is its potential to regenerate damaged dental pulp. 

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