15 June 2009 Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)

Armed to the Teeth with NanoSeal Root Canal Treatment

Root canal treatment.

Abscess on tooth needing root canal treatment

Good news for those with dental problems, requiring extraction of teeth! A team of researchers from the School of Dental Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) have discovered a type of dental material that can be used for root canals, in particular for root canals carried out on teeth that are no longer vital.

Current statistics indicate that a person between the ages of 35-44 will lose 8 teeth as a result of extraction and those 65 years and above will lose 21 of their 32 permanent teeth.

According to the Dean of the School of Dental Sciences, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ab. Rashid Haji Ismail, this treatment, known as ”NanoSeal Plus” is carried out on teeth that are effectively ‘dead'. The treatment preserves the teeth so that they continue to function and thus, the extraction of teeth that are ‘dead' can be avoided.

Speaking at a special press conference here this morning, Dr. Ab. Rashid explained that the procedure for the treatment is carried out in stages. In the initial stage, the canal of the 'dead' tooth has to be washed and must be free of infections and bacteria.

Next, after ensuring that the canal is free of infections, the canal has to be sealed so that bacteria from the mouth cannot get into the canal and infect the tissue at the root of the tooth.

Finally, the tooth will be restored to maintain its shape and function.

However, the root canal treatment is exposed to a constant risk of failure as there are accessory canals that cannot be sealed effectively and properly.

Although it is clear that this failure can lead to bacterial infection, several methods and procedures have been introduced to ensure that the sealing can be done effectively.

However, this material, which is used for the purpose of sealing has received very little attention.

Dr. Ab. Rashid added that a team of researchers from the School of Dental Sciences observed that this dental material is the key factor in determining the success of the rooot canal treatment.

The discovery was the result of the collaboration of researchers from various disciplines in USM, including chemists, dentists, veterinarians and scientists. The research took three years and was funded by a RM 20 000 USM short-term grant.

While the funding for the research is relatively small, it nevertheless can spur the researchers to work even harder to make new discoveries at a fraction of the cost of the materials that are currently available in the market.

The cost of producing the “NanoSeal Plus” is approximately RM 50.00 compared to RM 300.00 for the materials that are currently available in the market.

Dr. Sam'an Malik Masudi, the researcher and lecturer involved in the research explained that the first dental seal of its kind to be produced in the world used a material that had the same form as that of the structure of the teeth.

It is also the first dental seal that uses nano particles and combines them with current technology.

It is clear that the combination of nano technology with materials similar to the structure of the teeth have several advantages.

Reactive nano particles can slow down the growth of bacteria and this in turn accelerates the process of recovery of infected teeth.

Nano particles can also increase the effectiveness of the root canal. The size of the active nano particles can enter the accessory canals to ensure that all the spaces have been sealed effectively. Proper sealing can ensure that the teeth remain fixed in the mouth for a longer period of time.

Besides the nano size, the similarity between the structure of the material with that of the teeth also increases the bio-compatibility between the material and the teeth, thereby increasing its adhesive strength. The adhesive strength is crucial in ensuring the success of the root canal treatment.

NanoSeal Plus won the Gold Medal at the “20th International Invention, Innovation and Technology Exhibition (ITEX09)” held in Kuala Lumpur and was also exhibited at the Hanover Fair in Germany .

”NanoSeal Plus” is expected to be patented very soon and we have received numerous enquiries for it to be marketed both locally and internationally.

“We have very high hopes that with this dental material, we can help to improve the quality of the teeth among Malaysians and also those in foreign countries at a much lower cost,” said Dr. Ab. Rashid.

Nevertheless, he also advised the public to care for their teeth and to undergo dental examinations at least once a year. He added that they should also brush their teeth twice a day using toothpaste containing the right amount of fluoride to strengthen their teeth. They should brush their teeth before going to bed and also conduct self-examinations.

“This will ensure that the teeth do not rot easily but we must not depend solely on the treatment and method that we have discovered. We have to take good care of our teeth as well.

Dr. Sam'an Malik Masudi, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ab. Rashid Hj. Ismail, Prof. Ismail Ab. Rahman, Nor Shamsuria Omar and Syafawati Zaim were all involved in the research on NanoSeal Plus.

Source: Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) /...

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