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Cold Plasma Battles Bacteria

A new method promises gentler, more effective dental treatment

Freiburg, Jun 24, 2020

Anyone who's had an implant to replace a missing tooth knows that it needs at least as much care as the genuine article. Yet even when oral hygiene is good, bacteria can still sometimes attack the jawbone, putting the stability of the implant at risk. Up to now, there's been little dentists could do to help patients with this problem, at least in the long term. Now, the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Freiburg is on the brink of a major development. Doctors will soon be able to use what is known as cold, or non-thermal, plasma to gently disinfect their patients' mouths without harmful substances. Cold plasma is a mix of particles of ions and electrons. It does not damage the cells of the oral mucous membranes, yet renders the bacteria in tooth decay harmless. University of Freiburg researchers are using 3D printing to assemble the treatment system.