What Are Bioactive Materials in Dentistry?

You may hear the term bioactive materials used in relation to dentistry. What is a bioactive material? How are bioactive materials used during dental procedures? The Marconi Dental Group wants its patients to be informed about developments in dentistry, so here is some straightforward information about bioactive materials.

Bioactive Materials Defined

The American Dental Association defines bioactive materials as substances that produce “apatite containing material” (ACM) when they come in contact with bodily fluids, like saliva. Apatite is a critical mineral component of both enamel and dentin. How might a substance that produces ACM be useful to dentists and patients?

Right now there are three primary uses for bioactive materials in dentistry. These especially relate to dental procedures in endodontics, or root canals. For example, bioactive cements may do a better job of creating a tight seal between a dental crown and the underlying tooth. They are also believed to be more biocompatible when they come in contact with dental pulp (the material inside the root canals and tooth chamber). They may also do a better job of protecting that pulp by encouraging the growth of natural dentin around it. ACMs can also play a role in the remineralization of tooth enamel, reducing the risks of tooth decay.

Instead of apatite, some bioactive materials are designed to release anti-bacterial substances. This can protect a dental restoration and the underlying tooth from plaque and decay caused by oral bacteria.

Studies of bioactive materials are ongoing and new forms of these substances are constantly being developed. Be assured that the Marconi Dental Group continues to monitor developments in dental science and applies the best procedures for the benefit of our patients.

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