Creating replacement parts for various bits of the human body is one of the many areas in which 3D printing has huge potential. Dental implants are on that list, too, and if new research out of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands comes to fruition, 3D-printed replacement teeth could come with the added bonus of being able to destroy 99 percent of bacteria that they come into contact with.
The research team developed a process to manufacture 3D-printed teeth and braces capable of destroying bacteria using a special type of antimicrobial resin. To create the resin, the researchers combined antibacterial ammonium salts with standard dental resins. The resultant mixture was then hardened using ultraviolet light and put inside a 3D printer to print samples of replacement teeth. The positive charge on the ammonium salts gives the resin its bacteria-killing property, disrupting negatively charged bacterial membranes and causing them to burst and die.
Read more by John Camdir, gizmag, November 1, 2015