Early tests on a new coating for orthodontic brackets and wires developed by NYUCD researchers suggest that it could inhibit plaque growth and decalcification common in patients wearing fixed appliances without decreasing the bond strength between brackets and teeth.
The NYUCD researchers observed minimal plaque and calculus formation on teeth surrounding the coated braces and no significant difference in bond strength between coated and uncoated braces during their two-year in vitro study.
The coating is made from a calcium phosphate base
that releases zinc — a common ingredient in mouthwash and toothpaste — onto braces and surrounding teeth.
Zinc inhibits the growth of acid-producing bacteria that demineralize teeth, and it minimizes dental calculus formation. The coating would be inexpensive to produce, would not require FDA approval, and could be available
to market pending patent approval and further testing in patients, said principal investigator Dr. Racquel Z. LeGeros, Professor and Associate Chair of Biomaterials and Biomimetics and the Linkow Professor of Implant Dentistry.
This is believed to be the first time that such a calcium-phosphate coating has been studied. Efforts to stem plaque and calculus formation in orthodontic patients with other methods, such as applying fluoride-releasing tooth varnishes or performing laser therapy around brackets, have had limited success and have diminished bond strength in some cases.
Dr. LeGeros collaborated on the study with Dr. John LeGeros, an Adjunct Professor of Biomaterials and Biomimetics, and Dr. Jae Hyun Park, a 2005 graduate of the MS in Biomaterials Science and Certificate in Orthodontics programs. Dr. Park’s research won him the NYUCD Orthodontics Research Award as well as First Place in
the American Association of Orthodontics resident