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New adhesive prevents dental caries around orthodontic brackets

Nearly 70 per cent of patients with fixed orthodontic appliances are affected by dental caries, according to a 2015 meta-analysis. (Photograph: marinafrost/Shutterstock)

Fri. 2. November 2018


LONDON, UK: Researchers from Queen Mary University of London have produced a new dental adhesive for bonding orthodontic brackets that protects the tooth surfaces around the brackets from caries. According to a 2015 meta-analysis, dental caries affects nearly 70 per cent of patients with fixed orthodontic appliances.

The most common problem areas for wearers of brackets are around the edges of the retaining brackets. Since the wires and brackets make it difficult to clean here, plaque often accumulates, resulting in white spot lesions after treatment for many patients. This discolouration can take months or even years to disappear, and may affect the self-confidence and willingness of these patients to smile.

The new bonding adhesive continuously releases fluoride, calcium and phosphate to form fluorapatite to remineralise adjacent tooth surfaces and reduce plaque formation around brackets. Given the popularity of fixed appliances in the UK—more than 200,000 children and adults commenced this kind of orthodontic treatment last year, and over four million Americans are being treated with them—the benefits of this adhesive could be widespread.

Co-researcher Prof. Robert Hill, who holds the Chair in Dental Physical Sciences at Queen Mary, said: “This is a significant breakthrough which will benefit all those wearing orthodontic braces. The research we undertook is an extension of the technology we developed with BioMin Technologies when developing BioMin F toothpaste and this adhesive prevents the development of unsightly white spot lesions around the brackets.”

“Our latest research shows the adhesive forms protective fluorapatite—the fluoride analogue of tooth mineral—around the brackets. We hope to see the first commercially available product within two years,” he continued.

The development of the adhesive has been detailed in a study titled “Fluoride containing bioactive glass composite for orthodontic adhesives—Apatite formation properties”, which was published in the August 2018 issue of Dental Materials.

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