I’m sure when you think of diamonds, it’s likely that your first thought doesn’t go to your dental health.
However, that might be about to change, according to new research by the UCLA School of Dentistry. In this study, they found that nanodiamonds may decrease the adverse affects experienced after a root canal.
“How?”, you may wonder. Well, before we get into that, let’s first discuss what root canal therapy is and why one would need it. According to this article,
“When a tooth’s pulp — that’s the area inside a tooth where there are nerves and blood vessels — gets infected, it causes horrendous pain and potential health consequences. Dentists then go inside the tooth, scrape out all the infected areas, and refill it with a polymer called “gutta percha” that acts as a sealant against future infections. (The gutta percha basically looks like a long sliver that fills up the empty tooth canal.) However, using traditional gutta percha isn’t a surefire bet, since the material isn’t totally solid and doesn’t prevent infection. Additionally, there may also be tooth canals that the dentist missed in the initial procedure or the tooth may be cracked (both of which could lead to further, worse infections).”
That being said, the team of UCLA researchers took the nanodiamonds, which is essentially what is left over after diamond mining and refining, and mixed it with this gutta percha to create a compound that is much stronger than your average canal filling material.
The team then conducted two experiments on human teeth:
1) One set tested with gutta percha-reinforced material
2) One set tested with gutta percha-reinforced material and mixed with antibiotics (amoxicillin, to be exact)
The first test yielded the same results as traditional non-gutta percha reinforced material. However, the increase in strength of the material still lends itself to the same type of complications with infections.
The second test, however, showed the ability to ward off bacteria thanks to the mixed-in antibiotics.
In conclusion, if you’re headed for the dental chair for a root canal anytime in the near future, just grab yourself some nanodiamonds and amoxicillin and you’re set! (No pun intended.)