The future of dentistry could be less painful thanks to a world-first project led by researchers from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT).
QUT’s Australian Laureate Fellowship Professor Christopher Barner-Kowollik and his team have just been awarded a grant from the Australian Research Council worth $364,503 to support their partnership with Liechtenstein-based Ivoclar Vivadent to develop groundbreaking new on-demand visible light degradable dental materials.
“Our project aims to break new ground in the field of advanced adhesives by pioneering a unique system that can be cleaved with a defined visible light trigger, enabling the removal of previously bonded material without mechanical force,” Professor Barner-Kowollik said.
“So instead of having to use pliers or some other tool on a patient to lever out old work, the dentist would be able to simply wave a beam of light over the area to create that separation.
“Apart from making a visit to the dentist less painful, it would allow two materials to be strongly bonded, including dental crowns, braces and implants.”
Colleague Dr James Blinco added that the project would advance on-demand degradable materials design, introducing an advanced class of responsive networks for applications where reversible bonding is critical.
“This, in turn, will have flow-on benefits in future dental material applications and also have applications where simple-to-remove, temporary adhesives are required,” Dr Blinco said.