You might get a little concerned if you hear your Placerville dentist talk about bioactive materials — especially if you see a metal briefcase in the office. Please be assured that our staff, in this case, is not talking about biohazardous materials, nor are we discussing radioactive materials. “Bioactive materials” are used in dentistry for your oral health. So, what are they, and how can they benefit you?
What are Bioactive Materials?
According to the American Dental Association, bioactive materials are substances that produce “apatite containing material” (ACM) when met with bodily fluids like saliva. Please note that when we say apatite, it’s not a typo for appetite. What’s the difference? Well, your “appetite” is generally your desire for food or drink. “Apatite” is defined as any of several minerals consisting of calcium phosphate and other components, like fluorine (from which fluoride is derived), all of which are an important ingredients of the tooth. It is also a naturally occurring geological feature that has many uses in modern society, including dentistry.
Dental Uses of Apatite
Bioactive materials are critical mineral components that help support and maintain both enamel and dentin. Currently, there are three main uses for bioactive materials in dentistry.
- Cements — bioactive materials do a better job of creating a tight seal between a dental crown and an underlying tooth.
- Liners — since these materials protect the pulp inside a cracked or broken tooth, they are used to line an area under a crown or other restorative dental procedure. They’ve also been shown to encourage growth of dentin around the pulp.
- Restoratives — ACM’s help restore the strength and health of your enamel through remineralization, which restores eroded tooth enamel and reinforces it.
Some bioactive materials introduce anti-bacterial substances to bring in another line of defense, especially after a restorative procedure like a crown or filling. As research continues to explore the use of bioactive materials in the dental industry, there’s no doubt that further innovations are on the horizon.
Bioactive for Your Benefit
The Placerville Dental Group keeps up to date on the latest procedures and technologies, allowing us to be aware of the best care available for our patients. Be assured that if we use a bioactive material to help maintain your smile, it’s because we’ve made sure it’s safe, secure, and successful in providing the best option for your oral care.
Maybe you’d like to know more, or perhaps you have a few extra questions about bioactive materials. Feel free to give us a call or bring up the subject on your next visit. Let’s talk further about how bioactive materials can benefit you!