Development of antimicrobial restorative materials to manage dental disease in older adults.


The Dunhill Medical Trust

Principal / Lead Investigator
Dr Christopher D Lynch (Dentistry, Cardiff University)

AJ Sloan, J-Y Maillard, S Denyer

Type of study
Development of new material

This project will develop a new dental filling material capable of limiting the formation of tooth decay around it when used as a restoration, as well as encouraging the natural repair of the dental pulp by its action of removing the infecting bacteria. The action of this material would make it superior to existing dental filling materials as currently all restorative materials are inert and simply replace lost tissue.
Retention of teeth into later years of life is important for aesthetic and social reasons, let alone for function and nutrition. A common reason for tooth loss in older adults is untreated dental decay, or recurrent dental decay forming around dental restorations. Current research indicates that more than 50% of fillings placed are replaced within 10 years. Tooth decay forming around existing fillings can create the need for larger fillings (incurring financial costs for older patients), and can lead to pain, dental pulp damage and abscess formation. Management of such scenarios can be difficult in older adults, particularly with other medical conditions and often results in premature tooth loss. Tooth loss in older adults can lead to reduced chewing forces and poor dietary choices, in turn leading to poorer nutritional status. Complete dentures (which are provided for older adults who have lost all their teeth) are often difficult to wear, increase the risks of fungal infections (such as denture stomatitis) and older adults have reduced capacity to adapt to complete dentures.
The planned novel material will reduce the risk of tooth decay and associated problems such as pain and abscess formation, while decreasing the likelihood of tooth loss. It could also be used in root canal therapy to reduce the risks of failure and promote tooth retention.

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