Researchers at UCLA found in a clinical trial that nanodiamonds protected disinfected root canals after the nerve and pulp were removed. This result may help people who undergo root canals as it could help prevent infection after treatment. Specifically combining nanodiamonds with gutta percha, a material used to fill disinfected root canals, may enhance the gutta percha’s protective properties.
Nanodiamonds are tiny particles made of carbon and are very very small. Nanodiamonds have previously been explored to deliver drugs and serve as imaging agents. Protecting disinfected root canals is a delicate process. Dentists use gutta percha to block bacteria from infiltrating the tooth, but it can break during the procedure or create pockets of space for bacteria to infiltrate. The researchers tested nanodiamond-embedded gutta percha (NDGP) in three people who undergoing root canal procedures. These tests demonstrated the implanted material NDGP was more resistant to buckling and breaking than conventional gutta percha. All three patients healed without experiencing much pain and with no infections.
Using NDGP for the procedures did not require changes to any of the standard procedures for root canals. The researchers believe nanodiamonds could help with drug resistance in cancer, improve the efficiency of magnetic resonance imaging, and address many other clinical challenges.
Source: Dong-Keun Lee and et. al., Clinical validation of a nanodiamond-embedded thermoplastic biomaterial. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2017.