Those familiar with my blog posts will be aware how interesting I find the latest innovations in dentistry. From cutting-edge research to new treatment techniques – the way dentistry is evolving is fascinating, and gives us great insight into what could be possible years down the line.
I recently came across an article about nanobubbles and how further research has led to a better understanding of their formation and what this could mean for dental treatments.[i] Nanobubbles are effectively miniscule bubbles that, due to their diminutive size, have a number of interesting properties that set them aside from normal bubbles.
For example, where regular bubbles ascend to the surface of liquids, nanobubbles can remain suspended in liquids for months due to different buoyancy levels – meaning that they can effectively distribute gasses such as oxygen evenly throughout a liquid.[ii]
But what are the applications of nanobubbles in dentistry? It seems that these miniscule bubbles could help in a number of dental treatments, especially due to their unique properties. Indeed, one study that explored the use of nanobubble-infused water in endodontic treatment revealed that this liquid allowed for effective smear layer removal, enhancing the tubular penetration of medicaments without impacting the microhardness of the dentine. In larger canals, the water was also found to improve the efficacy of disinfectants such as sodium hypochlorite. As such, these results suggest that nanobubble-infused water could be a useful adjunct in these situations and potentially even have further applications.[iii]
It’s not just in endodontics where nanobubbles could enhance treatment, and another source states that the method of nanobubble formation through ultra-fast vibration could have a number of functions in daily dentistry, including more effective plaque removal. As nanobubbles are only generated when water is about to boil or is approaching vaporisation point, this releases a lot of energy which could be harnessed to provide a more targeted approach to treating certain illnesses.[iv]
A proposed example of this is selective targeting of tumour cells. This could mean a huge breakthrough in how certain illnesses such as cancers are treated, meaning that if proven effective, we could add another weapon to our arsenal against some of the more deadly diseases out there.[v]
Much like a number of breakthroughs, this is something that we as dental professionals should keep an eye on. This is especially true when you consider that if the understanding of nanobubble formation continues to increase, it’s likely that technology that harnesses this unique power could quickly become a viable choice in our practices.
It pays to keep ahead of innovations, especially as this means we can always provide the best level of care for our patients. So, let us see how nanobubble research continues!
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[i] Deadline. New Findings Into Nanobubbles Could Improve Dental and Other Health Treatments. Link: https://www.deadlinenews.co.uk/2021/02/25/study-findings-could-improve-dental-care-and-develop-future-technologies-research-news-scotland/ [Last accessed March 21].
[iii] Shawli, H. et al. Nanobubble-Enhanced Antimicrobial Agents: a promising Approach for Regenerative Endodontics. J Endod. 2020 Sep;46(9):1248-1255.
[iv] NanoWerk. Nanobubbles Could Improve Dentists’ Tools. Link: https://www.nanowerk.com/nanotechnology-news2/newsid=57382.php [Last accessed March 21].
[v] NanoWerk. Nanobubbles Could Improve Dentists’ Tools. Link: https://www.nanowerk.com/nanotechnology-news2/newsid=57382.php [Last accessed March 21].