Smile please: biomaterials for dental application

Oral health is essential to general health and quality of life. According to the WHO’s statistics report, 60-90% of school children and nearly 100% of adults worldwide have dental cavities. About 30% of people aged 65-74 have no natural teeth. Artificial dental biomaterials are consequently enabling much of the world to do something as vital as well as helping some of us to attain that picture perfect smile.


A variety of dental biomaterials have been developed to accommodate the clinical needs of dental patients. Newly developed dental biomaterials should be physically stable and biocompatible for their own purposes in the oral environment. Currently, the most frequently used dental materials include resin composites, titanium alloys, and zirconia. There is also increasing interest in materials for tissue engineering for both hard and soft oral tissue regeneration.

2015-02_A14585_BMC_BioSci_BioMaterialsRes_Dental_WidgetAn insightful new series Current and future biomaterials for dental application, published in Biomaterials Research and edited by Professor Hyeong-Cheol Yang from Seoul National University, focuses on the preparation, modification, biocompatibility and physical properties of current and future dental biomaterials. Most importantly, it discusses the application of dental stem cells in tissue regeneration.

Dental implants
Mike Stanley, Flickr

A fascinating piece of original research by Seon et al. published in this series demonstrates that microwave-induced argon plasma effectively improves the biocompatibility of titanium surface, which is a well-established implantable material, especially for dental and orthopedic implants.

Another interesting research article by Kim et al. detected mycoplasma contamination in the stem cells from apical papilla, which were isolated from patients undergoing orthodontic therapy. This article highlights the importance of evaluating mycoplasma contamination and the elimination process in the use of stem cells from apical papilla for tissue engineering.

Fluorescence staining of mycoplasma in stem cell cultures

We hope that these articles and future additions to the series will continue to fuel interest in dental biomaterials and illustrate its importance for tooth regeneration.


Karen Cheng

Senior Journal Development Editor at BioMed Central
Karen Cheng completed a PhD in Cell Biology (Chinese Academy of Sciences) before joining BioMed Central. Karen blogs about microbiology and cell biology.

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Porcelain Veneers

With all the new tech that has been around, its nice to know that the dental field is included in those new and improved applications that can lead to a more meaningful and wonderful SMILE…

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