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Novel Dental Cement to Combat Biofilms and Reduce Acids for Orthodontic Applications to Avoid Enamel Demineralization



Ning Zhang, Mary A. Melo, Joseph M. Antonucci, Nancy Lin, Sheng Lin-Gibson, Yuxing Bai, Hockin H. Xu


Orthodontic treatments often lead to biofilm buildup and white spot lesions due to enamel demineralization. The objectives of this study were to develop a novel bioactive orthodontic cement to prevent white spot lesions, and to determine the effects of cement compositions on biofilm growth and acid production. 2-methacryloyloxyethyl phosphorylcholine (MPC), nanoparticles of silver (NAg), and dimethylaminohexadecyl methacrylate (DMAHDM) were incorporated into a resin-modified glass ionomer cement (RMGI). Enamel shear bond strength (SBS) was determined. Protein adsorption was determined using a micro bicinchoninic acid method. A dental plaque microcosm biofilm model with human saliva as inoculum was used to investigate metabolic activity, colony-forming units (CFU) and lactic acid production. Incorporating 3% of MPC, 1.5% of DMAHDM, and 0.1% of NAg into RMGI, and immersing in distilled water at 37 °C for 30 days, did not decrease the SBS, compared to control (p > 0.1). RMGI with 3% MPC + 1.5% DMAHDM + 0.1% NAg had protein amount that was 1/10 that of control. RMGI with triple agents (MPC + DMAHDM + NAg) had much stronger antibacterial property than using a single agent or double agents (p < 0.05). Biofilm CFU on RMGI with triple agents was reduced by more than 3 orders of magnitude, compared to commercial control. Biofilm metabolic activity and acid production were also greatly reduced. In conclusion, adding MPC + DMAHDM + NAg in RMGI substantially inhibited biofilm viability and acid production, without compromising the orthodontic bracket bond strength to enamel. The novel bioactive cement is promising for orthodontic applications to hinder biofilms and plaque buildup and enamel demineralization.


antibacterial property, human saliva microcosm biofilm, orthodontic cement, protein repellent, shear bond strength, white spot lesions


Zhang, N. , Melo, M. , Antonucci, J. , Lin, N. , Lin-Gibson, S. , Bai, Y. and Xu, H. (2016), Novel Dental Cement to Combat Biofilms and Reduce Acids for Orthodontic Applications to Avoid Enamel Demineralization, Materials, [online], (Accessed May 29, 2024)


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Created May 24, 2016, Updated October 12, 2021