Tooth hypersensitivity is a growing problem affecting both the young and ageing population worldwide. Since an effective and permanent solution is not yet available, we propose a new methodology for the restoration of dental enamel using femtosecond lasers and novel calcium phosphate biomaterials. During this procedure the irradiated mineral transforms into a densified layer of acid resistant iron doped β-pyrophosphate, bonded with the surface of eroded enamel. Our aim therefore is to evaluate this densified mineral as a potential replacement material for dental hard tissue. To this end, we have tested the hardness of β-pyrophosphate pellets (sintered at 1000 °C) and its mineral precursor (brushite), the wear rate during simulated tooth-brushing trials and the cytocompatibility of these minerals in powder form. It was found that the hardness of the β-pyrophosphate pellets is comparable with that of dental enamel and significantly higher than dentine while, the brushing trials prove that the wear rate of β-pyrophosphate is much slower than that of natural enamel. Finally, cytotoxicity and genotoxicity tests suggest that iron doped β-pyrophosphate is cytocompatible and therefore could be used in dental applications. Taken together and with the previously reported results on laser irradiation of these materials we conclude that iron doped β-pyrophosphate may be a promising material for restoring acid eroded and worn enamel.
Anastasiou, A. D., Strafford, S., Posada-Estefan, O., Thomson, C. L., Hussain, S. A., Edwards, T. J., … Jha, A. (2017). β-pyrophosphate: A potential biomaterial for dental applications. Materials Science and Engineering C, 75, 885–894. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.msec.2017.02.116