US invests in ‘next generation’ dental composite

The National Institutes of Health in the States has announced it will award $2.8 million to six research projects to pursue a longer-lasting dental composite.

The six projects, each funded for five years, will allow a select group of scientists across the US to work independently toward the common goal of doubling the service life of dental composites.

In the US, dentists currently place more than 122 million dental composites per year. But they fail on average in less than eight years and must be replaced, often with another dental composite.

Martha Somerman, director of NIH’s National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), which supports the research, said: ‘The time is right scientifically to develop the next-generation dental composite. There have been major advances over the past decade in chemistry, microbiology, imaging, and several other potentially important research areas. Let’s get the right people talking to each other and see if it’s possible to double the service life of tomorrow’s dental composite.’

One possible area of study will be to characterise whether the natural enzymes in saliva play a role in degrading restorative dental materials.


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