What once seemed like a science fiction movie is increasingly becoming a reality! The use of nanotechnology resources in Dentistry is increasingly present and is a trend for the coming years.
This subject was the subject of a study carried out by Héctor Ramón Martínez, Hernán Marcos Abdala, Emmanuel Treviño, Gabriela Garza, Alfonso Pozas and Gerardo Rivera, researchers from the University of Monterrey, Mexico.
See, below, a summary of the considerations that Mexican researchers arrived at regarding the application of nanotechnology in Dentistry.
Events that marked the emergence of nanotechnology in Dentistry
The prefix “nano” comes from the Greek and means “dwarf”. As such, the word nanoscience is generally used to refer to the study of phenomena and the handling of matter at the nanometer scale (a nanometer is one millionth of a millimeter; a nano = 0.000000001).
The term nanotechnology, in turn, is responsible for the study, creation, design, synthesis, identification, manipulation and application of materials, devices and systems through the control of matter in dimensions close to the range of 1-100 nanometers, as well as the exploration of phenomena and properties of matter at this scale.
To better understand the application of nanotechnology in Dentistry, researchers from University of Monterrey started by making a timeline of events that marked the emergence of this technology.
The main events that marked the emergence of nanotechnology are the following:
1. In 1959, Richard Feynman was the first to refer to the possibilities of nanoscience, in a speech given at the California Institute of Technology.
2. In 1980, the scientist Eric Drexler coined the term nanotechnology.
3. In 1986, Gerd Binning It is Heinrich Rohrer, designed and manufactured the scanning tunneling microscope. The equipment makes it possible to visualize atoms as independent entities.
With all these advances, today, specialists in Dentistry are very interested in continuing to investigate more about molecules or organic materials called biomaterials, which are elements compatible with the human body and used to build artificial organs, rehabilitation systems, prostheses or to replace damaged tissues.
Likewise, dentists seek to implement the application of nanotechnological methods and techniques to find therapeutic alternatives, such as the creation of nano-projected structures for the release of drugs.
What are the main applications and future perspectives of nanotechnology in dentistry?
The applications of nanotechnology in Dentistry, according to the study we are referencing, are diverse. Take a look at some of the main ones below:
transport of medicines
Devices are being developed that are able to move through liquids such as blood in the human body.
The idea is that the patient ingests or has these devices injected into the body, so that the drugs are released from time to time, in a programmed way.
This type of treatment tends to be highly recommended in patients who have chronic pain and need to be constantly treated with analgesics, for example.
Alternative to dental fillings
There are specific applications such as silver nanoparticles that are used as a safer alternative for dental fillings because they have antiwear, antifungal and antibacterial properties.
In this way, nanotechnology in dentistry should be widely used in the treatment of caries and other dental diseases that require fillings.
Nervous tissue regeneration
In Orthodontics, nanoparticles are being applied that control pain signaling and increase the branching of nerve endings by means of nanospheres that contain growth factors that favor nervous tissue regeneration.
Thus, the correction of the position of the teeth and other bones of the facial structure can be done more efficiently and without the patient feeling so much pain.
Creating smart implants
In implantology, the introduction of a biomaterial known as nanobone, which simulates the structure and composition of bone, should become popular.
In addition, intelligent implants are being created, as they are capable of identifying the type of tissue that forms on them, to release growth factors when necessary to promote tissue growth and development.
Retinal hypersensitivity cure
Dentin hypersensitivity is caused by changes in hydrodynamic pressure transmitted to the pulp. And, as the tubules of sensitive teeth are eight times more abundant and their diameter is twice as compared to the tubules of non-sensitive teeth, 25 nanorobots would be able to transport specific biomaterials to obstruct the tubules, offering a definitive cure for this problem.
Nano-filling materials will be used as matrix monomers for dental reconstructions. These compounds decrease shrinkage after polymerization, improve strength and biocompatibility.
In this way, patients with tooth sensitivity will finally be able to stop feeling discomfort when consuming cold or very hot food or drinks, for example.
The researchers from the University of Monterrey conclude the presentation of their research by commenting that it is essential for the scientific community to study more about nanotechnology in Dentistry. Only then will it be possible to develop these resources more and more and make them really viable solutions for practices and treatments in dental offices.
What do you think about this matter? Will nanotechnology in Dentistry soon be accessible to everyone? Tell us in the comments!
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