Improving root canal treatment
Bradford researchers have applied their micro and nano technology expertise to develop a new process and new material that have radically improved root canal treatment for thousands of dental patients.
Working with dental products company, DRFP, the Bradford team has developed DRFP’s idea for a better and easier way to fill a root canal’s cavity, especially the randomly-shaped ones. A bespoke material and a hydrophilic coating were created for the application to ensure a complete 3D seal– a major improvement on traditional treatment approaches. In addition, the Bradford team has been able to develop the polymer material so that it consistently combines the necessary ceramic powder ingredients to make it visible in x-rays and exhibits properties compatible with mass-manufacturing techniques - qualities that that DRFP had been unable to source anywhere else.
As well as overcoming the technical challenges of the material itself, the Bradford team has developed an automated production process using University micromoulding equipment and specialised techniques, which allows DRFP to meet the growing demand for its ‘Smartpoint’ root canal device.
Clinical trials have shown that the device has reduced the 5-year failure rate of root canal treatments from up to 30% to 1%, and patients have reported excellent healing and much lower levels of post-operative pain.
The technology has won several awards and DRFP has both expanded its product range and is scaling up its production after securing FDA approval for Smartpoint’s use in the USA. DRFP continues to work with the University in developing new solutions to manage the scale-up as the company grows and to refine its products further.