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Nanocrystals make dentures shine
Date:1/5/2012

Jena (Germany) The hardest substance in the human body is moved by its strongest muscles: When we heartily bite into an apple or a schnitzel, enormous strengths are working on the surface of our teeth. "What the natural tooth enamel has to endure also goes for dentures, inlays or bridges", glass chemist Prof. Dr. Dr. Christian Rssel of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Germany) says. After all, these are worn as much as healthy teeth. Ceramic materials used so far are not very suitable for bridges, as their strengths are mostly not high enough. Now Prof. Rssel and his colleagues of the Otto-Schott-Institute for Glass Chemistry succeeded in producing a new kind of glass ceramic with a nanocrystalline structure, which seems to be well suited to be used in dentistry due to their high strength and its optical characteristics. The glass chemists of Jena University recently published their research results in the online-edition of the science magazine Journal of Biomedical Materials Research (doi: 10.1002/jbm.b.31972).

Glass-ceramics on the basis of magnesium-, aluminium-, and silicon oxide are distinguished by their enormous strength. "We achieve a strength five times higher than with comparable denture ceramics available today", Prof. Rssel explains. The Jena glass chemists have been working for a while on high density ceramics, but so far only for utilisation in other fields, for instance as the basis of new efficient computer hard drives. "In combination with new optical characteristics an additional field of application is opening up for these materials in dentistry", Prof. Rssel is convinced.

Materials, to be considered as dentures are not supposed to be optically different from natural teeth. At the same time not only the right colour shade is important. "The enamel is partly translucent, which the ceramic is also supposed to be", Prof. Rssel says.

To achieve these characteristics, the glass-ceramics are produced acc
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Contact: Ute Schoenfelder
presse@uni-jena.de
Friedrich-Schiller-Universitaet Jena
Source:Eurekalert  

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