The team embedded what’s called “antimicrobial quaternary ammonium salts” inside existing dental resin polymers. Since these salts are positively charged, they disrupt the negatively charged bacterial membranes and ultimately cause them to die. They then proceeded to place the mix into a 3d printer, hardened it with UV light, and then experimentally printed out replacement teeth. After running tests on their antibacterial properties, they found that it successfully killed over 99% of bacteria.
Moving forward, the team plans to conduct rigorous testing to confirm that this material can be rolled out to patients. They also need to confirm that the antimicrobial plastic is strong and durable enough to be used as teeth.