It is estimated that over 20 billion dollars are spent annually in the United States by dental patients – to replace composite resin restorations that have failed for this reason. Professor Andreas Hermann and his team added antimicrobial ammonium salts to existing dental resin polymers. The positive charge in these salts disrupted the negatively-charged cell lining or membrane of the bacteria. This caused the bacterial cells to rupture and die.
While further testing still needs to be carried out for long-term effects and compatibility with toothpaste, these new polymers are shaping up to be a game-changer in the general medical and dental industries. Reference Research paper: “3D-Printable Antimicrobial Composite Resins”, 10/2015, University of Groningen and University Medical Center Groningen 9713 AV, Groningen, The Netherlands.