Root canal treatment may soon be more effective because of a miniature but powerful ally that could inhibit infection after treatment.

A team of Researchers at the UCLA School of Dentistry and the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science discovered in a clinical trial that nanodiamonds protected disinfected root canals after the nerve and pulp were removed, thus enhancing the probability of a complete recovery. These findings are a breakthrough for the application of nanodiamonds in humans.

Nanodiamonds are miniature particles composed of carbon and are so tiny that millions of them could be placed on the head of a pin. They look like soccer balls but have facets like real diamonds. Those facets enable the nanodiamonds to deliver a broad range of drugs and imaging agents.

In a paper published on October 23rd in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the UCLA team states that integrating nanodiamonds with gutta percha, a material used to fill disinfected root canals, may improve the gutta percha’s protective properties.

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