Lost a tooth due to cavities? Your dentist will print one for you in 3D which could protect your entire mouth from any future problems. Researchers from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands have published a study, "3D Printable Antimicrobial Composite Resins", which illustrates the results of a surprising experiment: the creation of teeth that can kill bacteria on contact. In short, a 'guardian-capsule' for all other teeth.
How does it work?
The replacement tooth is designed exactly like that which is extracted to the patient: a special hypoallergenic resin combined with a special salt is then 3D printed and implanted in the mouth. The positive charge present in the salts inserted in the resin destroys the membranes of the bacteria (negatively charged), eliminating any bacterial colony.
The authors of the study are enthusiastic, and write: "The antibacterial properties have been optimized and stabilized, we have a prototype ready for all clinical tests. The possible applications are not only in the dental field, but for example orthopedic: braces and spacers that hip or leg implants come into contact with the patient's body to eliminate any risk of infection. There is no doubt that the same procedure can also be used to print objects that do not concern the medical field: of food, for example, or children's toys. At present, the resin we have developed is the first antibacterial material that can be 3D printed. "