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Study awarded prize for best publication of the year
Researchers from Charité's Institute of Dental, Oral and Maxillary Medicine have received an award in recognition of their work in enamel demineralization in patients with fixed braces. With fixed braces that are attached to the teeth, damage to the enamel and demineralization spots are unavoidable. Prof. Dr. Paul-Georg Jost-Brinkmann and his team of researchers compared different methods of gluing dental brackets onto the surface of teeth, investigating whether changes in the enamel were irreversible or whether these could be repaired. Their article, which was published in the journal Fortschritte der Kieferorthopädie/Journal of Orofacial Orthopedics, was awarded a prize during the German Orthodontic Society's Annual Conference.
Many children and young adults wear fixed braces to correct misaligned teeth. Treatment involves the use of multi-bracket braces, which are attached to the teeth after acid etching – a procedure that uses weak acid to etch the tooth surface, creating rough areas onto which the brackets are glued. While this etching procedure improves bond strength, it also has undesirable effects, namely, that it leads to demineralization of the tooth enamel. This is why the research team from Charité decided to compare three different bonding systems, conventional etch-based adhesion and two self-etching adhesive methods, including one that releases fluoride.
The researchers then measured enamel demineralization using quantitative light-induced fluorescence. Measurements were taken prior to etching and at regular intervals thereafter. “Results for all three adhesive systems showed that bonding of brackets results in demineralization of the surface enamel,” says Prof. Jost-Brinkmann. “Over the following days, however, all of the patients exhibited gradual remineralization. This effect was particularly pronounced with the fluoride-releasing bonding system.” Therefore, the results re-emphasize the role of fluoride in the remineralization of tooth enamel, and its significance in the natural repair process. As fixed braces are associated with a temporary weakening of the enamel, optimal oral hygiene is essential in preventing demineralization leading to tooth decay.
*Dominik Visel, Thomas Jäcker, Paul-Georg Jost-Brinkmann, Thomas-Michael Präger: Demineralisation des Bracketumfeldes nach Anwendung konventioneller und selbst konditionierender Schmelzadhäsivsysteme [Demineralization adjacent to orthodontic brackets after application of conventional and self-etching primer systems]. Journal of Orofacial Orthopedics 2014; 75: 358-373. doi: 10.1007/s00056-013-0223-9.