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Graphene is a new material that scientists say can be used in dental practice for fillings.

The unique properties of grapheme that have only recently been discovered are showing great promise.

 While studying graphene, experts from China, namely from the Institute of Dentistry and Shanghai Jiao Tong University discovered one very unique property, it’s an antibacterial agent. As it turned out, graphene oxide kills bacteria (cocci), which cause gum disease and tooth decay in humans. It also has a strong effect on resistant forms of bacteria, which antibiotics have trouble treating. Graphene oxide can also target and kill cancer cells without harming the body.

And the most interesting thing about grapheme is that it can be used in dental fillings.

   According to research from 2011, during a single meal we chew approximately 800 times, and each time we chew, the fillings in our teeth wear down. On a molecular level, graphene is very strong, about 200 times stronger than steel. But before being used in dentistry, researchers tested the toxicity of this material.

   Three different forms of graphene were tested in a biochemical laboratory: nitrogen-doped graphene, thermally restored graphene oxide and regular graphene oxide. The results showed that the first two forms are toxic to the teeth and oral mucosa, and cause their destruction. Only graphene oxide can be used in dental practice and studied in the future.

Graphene oxide is formed by strong bonds of oxygen, carbon and hydrogen, which are very ductile and flexible and at the same time very strong. A team led by Dr. Tan conducted a study on whether graphene oxide compounds affect the bacteria that cause tooth decay. An experiment was carried out that aimed to test the effect of grapheme on three strains of oral bacteria and the results were very impressive! The material destroyed bacterial cell walls, causing them to die. Therefore, we can safely say that graphene oxide is a new alternative to antibacterial agents.

   Scientists also proved that grapheme can be used in dentistry instead of antibiotics.

It should be noted that graphene can also be added to other materials used for dental work. So dental prostheses with a minimum amount of graphene oxide particles added to them can act on pathogenic microorganisms in the mouth.

By Dr. Iryna Todoryuk, BiMedis company