A new and apparently more precise method to assess the abrasion caused by dental products has been developed by Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials scientists.
From the press release:
A leading manufacturer of dental hygiene products asked the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM in Freiburg, one of whose specialties is the analysis and visualization of surface roughness, to help them develop new prophylactic pastes. The effectiveness of a prophylactic paste has so far been measured by how well the granules that it contains are able to smoothen a rough surface. The test is performed by first roughening tooth enamel or denture materials such as ceramics and titanium to a precisely defined value with an aggressive grinding material. But this does not truly reflect reality, as chewing wears out different materials at different rates. The new measuring method developed by the IWM researchers, a kind of chewing simulation, takes this factor into account. As the experts led by Dr. Raimund Jaeger, head of the Biomedical Materials and Implants department, discovered when comparing pastes and subsequently analyzing the surfaces, some pastes polish the surface but also unnecessarily ablate the tooth material, producing slight grooves on the tooth surface. The ideal paste, on the other hand, polishes so lightly that only the roughness is eliminated while the tooth enamel is hardly ground at all. “Obviously, every case is different,” says Jaeger. “Teeth with particularly heavy plaque or discoloration will need a more abrasive paste.” Normally, however, a gentler prophylactic paste will do the job. Thanks to the IWM researchers, the manufacturer has now been able to optimize the formulation.
Press release: Polished to perfection …