Scientists Suggest Utilizing Chicken Egg Shells in Dentistry

Ural scientists have proposed using a composite based on chicken egg shells in dentistry. In their opinion, the eggshell is similar in properties to the enamel of teeth, so it can be used as a material to determine the bonding strength of a polymer sealant and a tooth. The description of the material and the results of the experiments are presented in an article in the Journal of Composites Science. The work was supported by the RFBR with the government of the Sverdlovsk region (grant No. 20-48-660017) and the RNF (grant No. 23-29-00253).

“Most modern filling materials are developed on the basis of the polymer polymethylmethacrylate. In dentistry, strict requirements are imposed on the restorative materials from which fillings and components of dental implants are made. Firstly, it is a high biocompatibility with the human body. Secondly, the strength of fillings and implants made of them should not be higher than the strength of the tooth itself, otherwise healthy teeth will collapse upon contact with the seal or implant. The third requirement is the low cost of restoration materials, which will make them more accessible to a wide range of patients,” explains Peter Panfilov, co—author of the development, professor of the Department of Condensed Matter Physics of Nanoscale Systems of UrFU, to RIA Novosti.

UrFU scientists with colleagues from the Ural State Mining and Ural State Medical Universities have established that eggshells (calcium carbonate of biological origin) can serve as a substitute for enamel, as it meets the criteria by which the restorative dental material is evaluated.

“The shell of chicken eggs has two great advantages over other biominerals: its thickness is almost constant in all areas of the egg and it has two natural lateral surfaces similar in morphology to the surface of the enamel of teeth. Thanks to this, mechanical tests can be carried out according to the three—point bending scheme – allowing to assess the cohesive strength of the connection of two different materials. In addition, the concave surface of the eggshell makes it possible to reliably assess the ability of the polymer coating to adhere to the enamel,” said Peter Panfilov.

Given the availability and low cost of eggshells, the new technique can be used in the training of dentists, when the head of the practical class evaluates the work of the intern on the installation of the sealant, both visually and according to the results of mechanical tests, the researchers believe.

“The use of samples from chicken egg shells makes it possible to speed up the preliminary selection of filling materials formulations so that expensive tests on enamel — sealant composites can be carried out only on the most promising materials with the required functional properties and maximum cohesive strength. And such compositions can be used in the future when conducting preclinical and clinical experiments,” adds Peter Panfilov.

The research team plans to develop guidelines for applying the filling material and training dentists.