Current impact of nanotechnology in dentistry

Current impact of nanotechnology in dentistry
Nanotechnology is an art of engineering at molecular (group of atoms) level. It is the study of fundamental principles of atoms, molecules and structures between 1–100 nm in size. It is the collective term for a range of technologies, techniques and processes that comprise the manipulation of matter at the smallest nanoscale level. The field of dentistry is a branch of medicine that is involved in the basic study, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases, disorder and conditions of oral cavity commonly in the dentition, specifically oral mucosa and related tissues in the maxillofacial (jaw and facial) area. Nanotechnology is an emerging field with the significant potential to yield a new generation of technologically advanced clinical tools and devices for oral healthcare. The development of nanotechnology in dentistry will allow nearly perfect oral health by the use of nanomaterials, tissue engineering and nanorobots.

The new treatment opportunities in dentistry include nano anaesthesia, dentition renaturalisation, permanent cure of hypersensitivity, complete orthodontic realignment during a single office visit, covalently bonded diamondised enamel and continuous oral health maintenance with the help of mechanical dentifrobots (nanorobotic dentifrice) that destroy caries-causing bacteria and even repair blemishes on the teeth where decay has set in. Application of nanotechnology can be used to induce anaesthesia. The gingival of the patients is instilled with a colloidal suspension containing millions of active, analgesic, micron-sized dental robots that respond to input supplied by the dentist. After contacting the surface of crown or mucosa, the ambulating nanorobots reach the pulp via the gingival sulcus, lamina propia and dentinal tubules guided by chemical gradient and temperature differentials controlled by the dentist.

Once in the pulp, they shut down all sensation by establishing control over nerve-impulse traffic in any tooth that requires treatment. After completion of treatment, they restore sensation in the patients. Anaesthesia is fast acting and reversible with no side effects or complications associated with its use. Dentifrobots in the form of mouthwash or toothpaste left on the occlusal surface of teeth can clean organic residues by moving throughout the supragingival and subgingival surfaces, metabolising the trapped organic matter into harmless and odourless vapours and performing continuous calculus debridement. These nanorobots can move as fast as 1–10 μ/s and are safely self-deactivated when they are swallowed.

An outlook on future nanodentistry developments, such as saliva exosomes based diagnostics, designing biocompatible, antimicrobial dental implants and personalised dental healthcare is presented. It will also become possible to prevent periodontal disease and other complications with nanodentistry. However, some scientists believe that other than providing unlimited benefits, these devices can also bring danger as a result of mishandling or misuse. But again everything has its pros and cons and if we look at nanodentistry, we find that its pros far outweigh the cons and therefore, we should be looking forward to its emergence and popularity. The discovery which is made by the nanotechnology in dentistry should be useful to the society. The discovery which is being made should be a valuable invention and it must be a change to the society. It should make the work much easier for the human beings.
How to cite this article:
Naga Sai Kiran G. Current impact of nanotechnology in dentistry. BioLim O-Media. 03 March, 2016. 4(3).
Available from: