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Nanodiamonds might aid recovery from root canal treatment

By Dental Tribune International
December 24, 2018

LOS ANGELES, U.S.: California-based researchers have recently been working on a tiny, but powerful ally that could help prevent infection after root canal treatment. In a clinical trial it was found that nanodiamonds protected disinfected root canals after the nerve and pulp were removed, thereby improving the likelihood of a full recovery. The findings are considered a milestone for the use of nanodiamonds in humans.

Nanodiamonds are particles made of carbon and are so small that millions of them could fit on the head of a pin. The particles resemble soccer balls, but have faceted surfaces—similar to actual diamonds—that enable the particles to deliver a wide range of drugs and imaging agents.

“Harnessing the unique properties of nanodiamonds in the clinic may help scientists, doctors and dentists overcome key challenges that confront several areas of health care, including improving lesion healing in oral health,” said Dr. Dean Ho, professor of oral biology at the UCLA School of Dentistry and co-corresponding author of the study.

The researchers tested nanodiamond-embedded gutta percha (NDGP) in three patients who were undergoing root canal procedures. Tests of the implanted material confirmed that the NDGP was more resistant to buckling and breaking than conventional gutta percha. All three patients healed properly, without any unusual pain and without infection.

“This trial confirms the immense promise of using nanodiamonds to overcome barriers for a range of procedures, from particularly challenging endodontics cases to orthopedics, tissue engineering, and others,” said Prof. Mo Kang, co-author and endodontics professor at UCLA.

The study, titled “Clinical validation of a nanodiamond-embedded thermoplastic biomaterial,” was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Oct. 23, 2018 ahead of print.

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