The research team, led by Dr. Mary T. Ellen and Dr. Ryan B. McComb, developed a silver-based compound that can be incorporated into denture acrylics to provide antimicrobial properties. The compound, which is called silver methacrylate, was found to be effective at preventing the growth of common fungi that can cause infections in denture wearers.
According to Dr. Ellen, the idea for the study came from observing the high incidence of oral fungal infections in denture wearers. She noted that while dentures are an effective and common treatment option for tooth loss, they can also be a source of infection if not properly maintained.
To test the effectiveness of the silver methacrylate compound, the researchers conducted experiments using two different types of fungi commonly found in the mouth. The results showed that the compound was able to inhibit the growth of both types of fungi.
The researchers believe that their new technique for creating denture acrylics with antimicrobial properties could help prevent oral infections in denture wearers and improve their overall oral health. The team is now working on further refining the technique and hopes to conduct clinical trials in the future.
The study was published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces in January 2022.