‘Robo-3D’ 3D printing could save people from disease by turning their teeth into a medical instrument
3D printed dental implants could soon be used to treat cavities, the first 3D-printed prosthesis that can remove tooth decay and fill cavities.
The team, led by Prof. Yannis Karpathy, professor of dental and oral surgery at the University of Cambridge, has developed a new tooth-replacement device that can help people with a range of dental problems like gingivitis and gingiva infections.
Karpathy and his colleagues at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering (WBIE) have shown that the device is more effective at reducing cavities than a traditional toothbrush, and it can be used in dental surgery, treating patients with toothache, gum disease, gingival and gout, and even reducing tooth decay in the future.
“We have demonstrated that the new device is significantly more effective than traditional dental products at reducing the amount of dental plaque that accumulates in the teeth,” Karpathys team wrote in a paper published in PLOS ONE.
“It is more efficient than traditional brushing, and much safer than brushing alone.”
“In some ways, this device is like the future of dental care,” said co-author and Wyss Professor of Dentistry and Orthodontics, Dr. Steven Leavitt.
“Because the toothpaste is the most basic part of dentistry, it is the ideal material for a device like this.”
In addition to the new teeth, the researchers also designed a robotic toothbrush with a mechanical system that can be easily moved around, and the device could be fitted to existing dental appliances, like dental floss and dental pumps, which are used by millions of people around the world.
“This is a major breakthrough for dental health, and we think it will be a major advance for all dental care in the next 20 years,” said Karpaths co-lead author Dr. Matthew Alder, an associate professor of orthodontic medicine at the London School of Hygiene & Dentistry.
Alder added that the technology could also be applied to other dental problems, such as gum disease or toothache.
The researchers’ research has already been published in a number of peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Dermatology and the Journal, Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine.
The Wyss team said the new design could be used for a wide range of different problems, from dentistry to dentistry-related surgery.
“As a general idea, the toothbrush is the ultimate dental tool, but the robotic toothbrushes are the ultimate toothbrush,” Kompathys said.
“When you put them in your mouth, they take care of a lot of things, and you can take care not to break them.”