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J Dent Res. 2010 Jul;89(7):657-65. doi: 10.1177/0022034510368644. Epub 2010 May 6.

Biofilm formation on dental restorative and implant materials.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, University Medical Center Groningen, and University of Groningen, Antonius Deusinglaan 1, 9713 AV Groningen, The Netherlands.


Biomaterials for the restoration of oral function are prone to biofilm formation, affecting oral health. Oral bacteria adhere to hydrophobic and hydrophilic surfaces, but due to fluctuating shear, little biofilm accumulates on hydrophobic surfaces in vivo. More biofilm accumulates on rough than on smooth surfaces. Oral biofilms mostly consist of multiple bacterial strains, but Candida species are found on acrylic dentures. Biofilms on gold and amalgam in vivo are thick and fully covering, but barely viable. Biofilms on ceramics are thin and highly viable. Biofilms on composites and glass-ionomer cements cause surface deterioration, which enhances biofilm formation again. Residual monomer release from composites influences biofilm growth in vitro, but effects in vivo are less pronounced, probably due to the large volume of saliva into which compounds are released and its continuous refreshment. Similarly, conflicting results have been reported on effects of fluoride release from glass-ionomer cements. Finally, biomaterial-associated infection of implants and devices elsewhere in the body is compared with oral biofilm formation. Biomaterial modifications to discourage biofilm formation on implants and devices are critically discussed for possible applications in dentistry. It is concluded that, for dental applications, antimicrobial coatings killing bacteria upon contact are more promising than antimicrobial-releasing coatings.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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