Chula researchers develop dental materials for easier tooth filling
Faculty members at Chulalongkorn University have joined forces to develop easy-to-use “light-activated dental materials” that meet international standards and help shorten tooth filling time.
The Thai team has created Acemannan polymer from aloe vera that can stimulate the formation of dentin and reduce tooth sensitivity in many dental health products, the research group said.
In the past, dentists used filling materials that harden via chemical processes to treat cavities. However, the hot weather in Thailand makes these materials harden too quickly for the dentists to finish their work, making the job cumbersome.
To address this challenge, members from the faculties of dentistry, science, pharmacy, and veterinary science came together to form a 4Ds Project group to develop the latest innovative light-activated dental materials that meet world standards.
Easy and fast filling
Light-activated dental filling materials have been in use for nearly 40 years in the United States, Europe and Japan. Such technology has been patented and guarded to maintain their status as the world leaders in dental materials, the group said.
The patented “light-activated dental materials” by Chula’s 4Ds Project group is, therefore, a success in dental innovation by Thai people, the group said.
“When the filling materials are applied and activated by light, the cure time is shortened. Patients, especially children, don’t have to keep their mouth open for a long time,” the principal researcher of the 4Ds Project group, Prof Pasutha Thunyakitpisal, DDS, Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Dentistry and a post-graduate programme in Dental Biomaterials Science, Chulalongkorn University, said.
“We use blue light that is present in sunlight, so it is safe. The blue light’s wavelength produces energy that releases electrons to activate the materials’ hardening process, thus making filling of cavities easier and faster.”
The innovative light-activated dental materials have caught the attention of the private sector, which has commercially produced and marketed this technology as specialty products under the brands “All – Zeal” cavity sealing and filling kit, and “Embaze” – an RMGI material.
Both dental materials are ISO-certified and safe for oral tissues. They have been selected by the Comptroller-General’s Department, the National Science and Technology Development Agency, and the Food and Drug Administration to be patented as Thai innovations.
Apart from the light-activated dental materials, the 4Ds Project group also hasvdeveloped other dental products for general dental health, such as Bai Kapow Swimming Care Gel to protect sensitive teeth against chlorine in the swimming pool, CPA Desensitizer Gel to reduce sensitivity for those with mild cervical abrasion or unable to get fillings or after teeth whitening, and concentrated 1.23 per cent acidulated phosphate fluoride gel.
The products are available for sale at “Osotsala” Pharmacy, the Faculty of Pharmacy, Chulalongkorn University, or general dentistry clinics.