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Novel, very stable dentures made of glass ceramic
Scientists from Jena have successfully developed a new type of extremely stable denture made of glass ceramic. Prosthetics companies are already lining up. In addition to dentures, the glass ceramic may also be used as a bone replacement in the human body.
Super ceramics are five times stronger than previous dentures Christian Rüssel and his team from the Otto Schott Institute for Glass Chemistry at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena have successfully developed a super ceramic for dentures. The scientists are talking about a revolution in the manufacture of crowns, bridges and inlays, because the new material is not only much more stable, it also looks more natural. "We have achieved a strength that is around five times higher than that of comparable denture ceramics available today," explains the institute director. Prosthetic companies quickly became aware of the invention and are already lining up.
In addition to high stability, the requirements for artificial teeth include the toughest foods, durability, natural appearance, low weight and affordability. In addition, they must not trigger allergic reactions. The new glass ceramic dentures largely meet these requirements. So far, strength has been the biggest obstacle. "What the strongest material in the human body, natural tooth enamel, has to endure, also applies to dentures such as inlays and bridges," explains Rüssel. The material previously used for dentures in terms of strength and stability is particularly problematic for bridges. The new one However, super ceramics meet this requirement, and the researchers have also succeeded in making the glass ceramic translucent. "The tooth enamel is also partially translucent, which is what the ceramic should also be," reports the glass chemist more natural.
Modified raw materials give glass ceramics strength and light transmission The properties of glass ceramics are significantly improved compared to previously used materials due to their raw materials and their processing. Magnesium, aluminum and silicon oxide are heated in a controlled manner and get their nanocrystalline structure. To do this, the fabrics are first melted at 1,500 degrees Celsius. Then cool them down and chop them finely. This is followed by repeated melting and cooling of the material. Then the glass ceramic is heated to 1,000 degrees Celsius, creating nanocrystals. "If the material is too crystallized, it becomes opaque and looks like plaster," explains the trunk.
The average size of the crystals is a maximum of 100 nanometers, which corresponds to one millionth of a millimeter. "They are too small to diffuse the light strongly, and therefore the ceramic looks translucent like a natural tooth," says the glass chemist. It will probably take some time before the glass ceramic from Jena is used in German dentures if we agree with a company, the material will be on the market in two years, "explains Rüssel. The coloring of the material is still a small obstacle, because the patients want a denture that matches the color of the other teeth. Rüssel and his team are currently working on a corresponding color scale.
The glass chemists from Jena have been dealing with solid ceramics for a long time, which could be used, for example, in new hard drives for computers. But it can also be used for artificial bones in the human body. The scientists have already made auditory bones, skull plates and wedges against hip deformities from glass ceramics.
If you take good care of your teeth, you rarely need dentures. Studies show that good dental care pays off into old age. Dr. Jens Thomsen, prophylaxis dentist from Hamburg, explains that teeth and gums change with age. Nevertheless, one could say with certainty that teeth would not simply fall out due to age. A Swedish long-term study proves this: less than one tooth was lost per patient with thorough dental care within 30 years. This also applied to subjects who were between 50 and 80 years old at the end of the study.
In addition to dental floss, thorough dental care also includes small interdental brushes that can penetrate almost all spaces with their microfine bristles. Handling them is often easier than flossing. In both cases, it is worth using it, because if you start thorough dental care early on, you not only avoid expensive dental bills, but also reduce the risk of painful inflammation, bleeding gums, bad breath and tooth decay.
Dental care for children should start from the first tooth. It is a misconception that milk teeth do not need to be cared for as thoroughly because they fail anyway. Thomsen explains that healthy milk teeth are the basis for healthy teeth in adulthood. He advises parents to get their children used to thorough dental care as early as possible, preferably with the first tooth. If tooth decay occurs, it is almost always an old tooth decay that breaks out again. People who did not have tooth decay in childhood would generally not get it later.
For the care of the first teeth, milk toothbrushes could be used, which should be used after every meal. To do this, parents simply clean their children's teeth and gums with a cloth that is placed around their fingers. (ag)
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