Every time a new dental adhesive comes out, we hear about how strong the bond is to dentin and enamel. It seems like they keep going up with every new product release. But in the end, I still see fillings fail. Obviously some of that can be chalked up to bad hygiene. Other failures can be attributed to poor technique in a procedure that is very technique sensitive. But maybe some of the failures are due to the fact that we are taking an artificial, inorganic substance and gluing it to an organic structure that is constantly being weathered by moisture and temperature change. So here is the question: How can we make that link even stronger to eliminate the effect of those external forces trying to tear that bond apart?
Researchers at the University of Missouri may have the answer. Using a non-thermal argon plasma brush, AKA tiny blue flame, they treated the surfaces of dentin from extracted third molars. The result was an increase in carbonyl groups on the surface of the collagen, allowing for better bonding to dentin. With a 30 second exposure, they reach bond strengths over 50 MPa. It also acted as a disinfectant in the cavity preparation as well. The neat thing here is that you wouldn’t have to do anything different. You can use the same composite or bonding system. You just add a short step to the procedure.
Clinical trials are expected to begin this summer. Keep an eye out on Dentalcompare for any information on an official product. For a more extended story on this emerging technology, you can read about it on the University of Missouri website
. If you want to release your inner biochemist, you can check out the full research article as well