Chula Faculty members joined forces in dental materials science to develop easy-to-use “light-activated dental materials” that meet international standards and help shorten tooth filling time. The secret of these innovative dental materials, made by Thai people, is Acemannan polymer from Aloe Vera that can stimulate the formation of dentin and reduce tooth sensitivity in many dental health products.
In the past, dentists used filling materials that harden via chemical processes to treat cavities. However, the hot weather in Thailand makes these materials harden too quickly for the dentists to finish their work making the job cumbersome.
To address this challenge, the faculty members from the Faculties of Dentistry, Science, Pharmacy, and Veterinary Science came together to form a 4Ds Project group to develop the latest innovative light-activated dental materials that satisfy world standards.
Easy and fast filling with light-activated dental materials
Light-activated dental filling materials have been in use for nearly 40 years in the United States, Europe, and Japan. Such technology has been patented and guarded to maintain their status as the world leaders in dental materials. The patented “light-activated dental materials” by Chula’s 4Ds Project group is, therefore, a success in dental innovation by Thai people.
“When the filling materials are applied and activated by light, the curing time is shortened. Patients, especially children don’t have to keep their mouth open for a long time,” revealed Principal Researcher of the 4Ds Project group, Prof. Pasutha Thunyakitpisal, DDS, Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Dentistry and a post-graduate program in Dental Biomaterials Science, Chulalongkorn University.
“We use blue light that is present in sunlight, so it is safe. Blue light’s wavelength produces energy that releases electrons to activate the materials’ hardening process, thus making cavity filling easier and faster.”
The innovative light-activated dental materials have received the attention from the private sector which has commercially produced and marketed this technology as specialty products under the brands “All – Zeal” cavity sealing and filling kit that hardens by cavity-preventing light”, and “Embaze” – an RMGI material that hardens by fluoride-releasing light to strengthen the teeth – suitable for cavities in the cervical area or children and the elderly with weak dentin. Both dental materials are ISO-certified and safe for oral tissues. They have been selected by the Comptroller General’s Department, the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NTSDA), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be patented as Thai innovations.
From research to products for universal dental health
Apart from the light-activated dental materials, the 4Ds Project group also developed other dental products for general dental health, such as Bai Kapow Swimming Care Gel to protect sensitive teeth against chlorine in the swimming pool, CPA Desensitizer Gel to reduce sensitivity for those with mild cervical abrasion or unable to get fillings or after teeth whitening, and concentrated 1.23% Acidulated Phosphate Fluoride Gel.
Prof. Pasutha also revealed that the secret ingredient of these anti-sensitivity dental products is Acemanan from Aloe Vera that stimulates the formation of dentin and enamel. The 4Ds Project group was granted permission to use the area on the 7th floor of the Pre-Clinical Building, Faculty of Dentistry, Chulalongkorn University to cultivate Aloe Vera plants for dental research.
“The research took many years to accomplish through the dedication of like-minded peers from interdisciplinary fields. Our group did not only look at completing the research for in-depth knowledge alone. Research and innovation should also have real-world applications. The products that we developed may not be flashy but they are sustainable,” Prof. Pasutha concluded.
All the dental health products from the 4Ds Project group are patented through the Intellectual Property Institute of Chulalongkorn University, and the product quality is guaranteed to rival those of international standards. All products are certified by the FDA and the Federation of Thai Industries, certifier of Made in Thailand (MIT) products, and have received several awards for innovation from various agencies.
Products are available for sale at “Osotsala” Pharmacy, the Faculty of Pharmacy, Chulalongkorn University, or general dentistry clinics.
By Chulalongkorn University