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Photoactive Material Could Ease Dental Woes

VIENNA, May 1, 2014 — A visit to the dentist may not be the most fun experience, but a new material could make it more tolerable.

A new generation of dental filling materials that harden more quickly under blue light has been developed by a team at the Vienna University of Technology, in collaboration with Ivoclar Vivadent New York and additional testing by Graz University of Technology.

The new composite material includes germanium-based molecules added to inorganic fillers and photoactive organic resins. Using blue light, the researchers split the molecule into two parts. The radicals cause other molecular compounds in the filling to assemble into polymers and harden.


New dental filling materials that harden more quickly under blue light have been developed. Here, the polymerization process is studied. Courtesy of Florian Aigner, Vienna University of Technology.


The penetration depth of the light and efficiency of the polymerization process varies based on wavelength, said Robert Liska, a professor with the Institute of Applied Synthetic Chemistry at TU Vienna, and a lead researcher. With traditional materials, light does not penetrate very deeply; at longer wavelengths, the process has historically been more time consuming and less efficient.

With the new material, the researchers have been able to increase the hardening depth from 2 to 4 mm, which they found “considerably reduces the duration of the medical procedure.”

For more information, visit: www.tuwien.ac.at


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