Sep, 2021 - By WMR
A new dental implant is being developed that could create electricity with the help of oral movements to heal infected gums.
An artificial implantable teeth can be a long-lasting option to dentures however, they may require replacement if there is a constant gum infection. To create a solution for this, a team of scientists at Pennsylvania State University is developing a novel smart dental implant that can fight bacterial growth and generate electricity using mouth movements, to provide energy to a tissue-rejuvenating light. The new dental implant will apply two technologies, a material filled with nanoparticles that battles bacterial growth and implanted light source to provide phototherapy, powered by movements such as chewing and brushing.
The implant being developed at present contains an artificial tooth having natural looks which is known as the crown. The crown is created using dental resin mixed with nanoparticles of non-biological materials. The implant has a steel body inside that includes rectifier circuit, a battery, and a ring where infrared-micro-LEDs are exposed around the base. The base projects out the crown bottom and is fixed using a screw into the jaw bone. The team is using a piezoelectric material to generate electricity in response to mechanical pressure caused by oral movements. The motions such as chewing will be able to generate an electric charge that could be saved in the battery in order to use it to power the micro-LEDs, which can treat the gum tissues.
Furthermore, the team claims that the dental resin composite has proven to be effective in many tests. Additionally, it provides a mechanical strength same as natural dental composites. Also, the nanoparticles of the non-biological material don’t leak out and no healthy tissue gets harmed. The team hopes to further develop the implant system and to see it commercialized in the dental field.