11:06pm Thursday 19 October 2017

Dental School tests treatment to prevent white spots around braces

This problem can affect up to 50 percent of patients undergoing orthodontic treatment.1

In addition to being unsightly, these white spots are the early stage of cavity formation, said Bennett Amaechi, D.D.S., Ph.D., associate professor in the Dental School at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio. “While we treat one problem (tooth alignment) with braces, another one crops up,” he said.

Dr. Amaechi and his research group received $240,000 from Element34 (E34) Technology Inc. of Lubbock to test a new antibacterial technology licensed by E34. Professors at Texas Tech University invented the SeLECT Defense technology, which E34 and Selenium Ltd. of Austin jointly developed to enhance dental sealants and orthodontic products including braces.

“It is difficult to repair the white spots to the original nature of the tooth,” Dr. Amaechi said. “The best thing is to prevent the spots’ formation in the first place. Development of this product is an innovative breakthrough that promises to combat the problem.”

The Health Science Center Dental School is the sole testing site for the technology. “We are providing independent clinical testing of this approach,” Dr. Amaechi said.

According to E34 product materials, the product’s “proprietary chemistry is a green technology that inhibits microbial growth on surfaces through a natural, safe catalytic reaction that does not leach chemicals or toxins.”

Recruitment of patients will begin soon, Dr. Amaechi said. Call (210) 567-3185 for more information.

1Gorelick L, Geiger AM, Gwinnett AJ. Incidence of white spot formation after bonding and banding. Am J Orthod 1982;81:93-8.

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The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, one of the country’s leading health sciences universities, ranks in the top 3 percent of all institutions worldwide receiving National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding. Research and other sponsored program activity totaled a record $259 million in fiscal year 2009. The university’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced approximately 26,000 graduates. The $739 million operating budget supports eight campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. For more information on the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit www.uthscsa.edu.

Print contact: Will Sansom, (210) 567-2579


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