BLOOMINGTON, Ind., U.S.: According to the American Association of Endodontists, more than 15 million root canal therapies are performed each year. Considering the high number of treatments, it is quite common for bacteria, viruses or yeasts to contaminate the tooth. Now, a researcher has developed an antimicrobial gel that could address this and thus improve the results of endodontic procedures significantly.
Behind this product is Dr. Ghaeth H. Yassen, a visiting assistant professor at the Indiana University School of Dentistry. He developed the injectable antimicrobial gel to disinfect a tooth during a root canal therapy.
“I wanted to create a gel that provides sustained antimicrobial properties even when it is removed. I also wanted it to have minimal toxic effect on stem cells and not cause tooth discoloration,” he said. “Creating an antimicrobial space is especially important during clinical regenerative endodontic procedures.”
Yassen added that the gel has advantages over conventional medications, including calcium hydroxide, widely used as an antibacterial agent.
“The gel offers extended and significantly longer residual antibacterial properties, which has been proven in papers published in the Journal of Endodontics and the International Endodontic Journal,” he said. “It is biocompatible, and it contains a low concentration of antimicrobial elements.”
The next steps include optimizing a version of the gel that is opaque to X-rays and other radiation to enable dental care professionals to track it within the root canal system.