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From left: Dr Tomas Lang, CEO ORMED - Institute for Oral Medicine at the University of Witten/ Herdecke, Ann-Kathrin Flad and Prof. emeritus Peter Gängler (Photograph: Witten/Herdecke University)
0 Comments Aug 16, 2016 | News Europe

Student develops artificial dental plaque

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WITTEN, Germany: As part of a research project, a dentistry student from Germany has developed a new formula to synthesise dental plaque, which could help facilitate research on oral biofilm significantly in the future. As the first dental student ever to speak at the congress, she presented her findings at the 94th General Session and Exhibition of the International Association for Dental Research, which took place from 22 to 25 June in Seoul in South Korea.

“These results are important for the development of toothbrushes and other devices because their effectiveness has to be tested,” explained Ann-Kathrin Flad, who is an eighth-semester dental student at Witten/Herdecke University in Germany and has been involved in the project for three years already. “Currently, researchers have to find study participants who are not allowed to brush their teeth for days. With the new formula for artificial dental plaque, however, this can be avoided, as it adheres to teeth like natural dental biofilm. It can be coloured in order to measure how much is being removed using manual and electric toothbrushes, as well as other oral hygiene tools.”

Alongside her studies, Flad works at the ORMED—Institute for Oral Medicine at the university, a research and development organisation for scientific services in the field of experimental and clinical dentistry with the focus on oral hygiene, robotic simulation of toothbrushing and medical plaque control.

Flad’s trip to Seoul was funded by the Fördergemeinschaft Zahnmedizin, a non-profit association of dentists established in 1985 at the university’s dental school that aims to promote the link between research and practice. In pursuing its goals, the association supports research projects and congress participation by young dental professionals.

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