A dental implant can cost as much as $4,500 per tooth. But there are dental clinics like Affordable Dental Solutions Reading that offer the dental appliance for $2,000 per tooth. While the cost usually includes the abutment and crown, the cost of repairs in case the procedure fails is not part of the price. Patients will benefit if biocompatible polymer or ceramic-based materials are developed to replace metals.
When teeth are damaged by trauma or diseases, they require treatment to restore their appearance. The problem, however, is restorative materials that are available to dentists are costly and do not last very long. According to Esteban Florez, assistant professor at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, current dental biomaterials have limitations.
At least 70% of the dentist’s time is spent on replacing failed restorations. Florez focuses on creating smart restorative dental biomaterials that are cost effective and do not have to be replaced every 5 or 7 years. New materials can bond more tightly to the enamel structures that have to be repaired and at the same time repel bacteria that can attack fillings and implants.
It would be a great asset to dentistry if novel materials that are biocompatible to the human body are created. Florez believes that neutrons will be the perfect tool that can be used to assess potential materials for this purpose. Neutron scattering research can provide certain insights that can lead to the development of novel materials that can be used in dentistry.
Florez was able to perform neutron scattering experiments at ORNL. Surface modification and functions of metal oxide nanoparticles were explored in experimental dental adhesive resins. Nanoparticles have long term bioactive and anti-bacterial properties.
Using neutron scattering, Florez hopes to understand how different restorative materials interact with the tooth’s enamel, dentin and collagen. If the project is successful, the durability of current polymer-based restorative materials can be increased.
Oral health care must not be expensive for patients that is why Affordable Dental Solutions Reading tries to make the cost of dental procedures as affordable as possible. Prices are kept low while maintaining high quality because state-of-the-art technology is used in the manufacture of materials.