3-D Nanoscale Maps Reveal Detailed Structure of Tooth Enamel

Cavities are the most common reason why people usually pay a visit to the dentist; according to a study by the WHO, around 75% of children and nearly 100% of adults worldwide are a victim to dental cavities, a result of a continuous breakdown of tooth enamel.

In order to gain more insight into the composition of dental enamel scientists from the University of Sydney have developed 3-D maps using atom probe tomography that are able to trace the movement and interaction of ions within the intricate structure of tooth enamel. The mapping also shed light on some key processes taking place within the structure of enamel- researchers found direct evidence of a phosphate-governed phase, and according to lead researcher Dr. Alexandre La Fontaine, the technology could open up a gateway for new treatments designed to help “[protect] against the dissolution of this specific amorphous phase.”

With nanotechnology becoming an ever-important factor in technological improvements in the dental world, it would be a wise decision to focus efforts on experimenting with it. Dental technology is still a relatively new area, and there are tons of discoveries that can arise in the next decade or so!

 

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