UCLA scientists have — and they’ve come up with something truly fascinating.
A report from the American Chemistry Social journal Nano demonstrates that nanodiamonds — which are microscopic diamond chips — have the capacity to improve root canals by protecting the treated tooth from infection.
Normally during root canals, a dentist will clean out pulp from deep within a tooth and fill that area with a rubber compound called gutta-percha. If the patient’s tooth gets infected, or the root canal fails, another procedure is needed. To be able to prevent this, scientists have been experimenting with other kinds of filler material.
At UCLA, a team of investigators took nanodiamonds — so tiny that millions could fit on this pin’s head — and combined it with gutta-percha and the amoxicillin antibiotic to form a new kind of filler compound.
What did they discover?
The nanodiamond compound is more powerful than plain gutta-percha, and it has the advantage of being able to kill bacterial strains — such astaphylococcus aureus.
The nanodiamond root canal filler has not been tested on people yet — so the jury’s still out on whether the term “diamonds are forever” could be applied to teeth.