Dental School tests treatment to prevent white spots around braces

SAN ANTONIO (Sept. 8, 2010) — Braces increase the number of hard-to-reach places for toothbrushing in the mouth. Young people and adults alike have difficulty brushing around their orthodontic appliances, often resulting in white spots. This problem can affect up to 50 percent of patients undergoing orthodontic treatment.1

In addition to being unsightly, these white spots are the early stage of cavity formation, said Bennett Amaechi, D.D.S., Ph.D., associate professor in the Dental School at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio. “While we treat one problem (tooth alignment) with braces, another one crops up,” he said.

Dr. Amaechi and his research group received $240,000 from Element34 (E34) Technology Inc. of Lubbock to test a new antibacterial technology licensed by E34. Professors at Texas Tech University invented the SeLECT Defense technology, which E34 and Selenium Ltd. of Austin jointly developed to enhance dental sealants and orthodontic products including braces.

“It is difficult to repair the white spots to the original nature of the tooth,” Dr. Amaechi said. “The best thing is to prevent the spots’ formation in the first place. Development of this product is an innovative breakthrough that promises to combat the problem.”

The Health Science Center Dental School is the sole testing site for the technology. “We are providing independent clinical testing of this approach,” Dr. Amaechi said.

According to E34 product materials, the product’s “proprietary chemistry is a green technology that inhibits microbial growth on surfaces through a natural, safe catalytic reaction that does not leach chemicals or toxins.”

Recruitment of patients will begin soon, Dr. Amaechi said. Call (210) 567-3185 for more information.

1Gorelick L, Geiger AM, Gwinnett AJ. Incidence of white spot formation after bonding and banding. Am J Orthod 1982;81:93-8.

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