Researchers at UC3M polymers have been trying to find a plastic that can be used in orthodontry to make brackets. This would have to be a very special sort of plastic, hard enough to serve as a bracket, but not hard enough to damage teeth. It also has to fit closely to the teeth, which can make it so that the brackets can exert enough torque onto the surface of the teeth that the treatment can actually be completed.
According to the leaders at UC3M, there were some issues to overcome. The idea was to get a polymer plastic with nanoparticles that will seamlessly attach themselves to the surface of the tooth. There is some friction between the tooth surface and an ordinary bracket, which results in brackets being less effective than it could be. The plastic polymer is reinforced with super hard alumina particles, and spread them evenly in the actual polymer. The braces are transparent, and are completely fully functional orthodontic brackets. The polymer is also much more durable than your regular stainless steel or titanium alloys, meaning there will be less instances of damage suffered to the brackets. The material is also biocompatible, and reacts well with food, meaning no toxins or toxic chemical by products are made by the material upon it coming into contact with additives and food in general.
Where Can I Get Some?
Right now, nowhere. The clinical trials are still underway, and until those are finished, no one will be wearing nanoparticle enriched plastic brackets. Clinical trials are extremely important, as they are the only way to make sure that the product is safe to wear in everyday life, without using human subjects for experimentation. But as soon as this new material hits the markets, I am sure that all of the major orthodontic manufacturing companies will be all over each other trying to make new models and improve their existing ones with this fabulous new polymer. But first, the product needs to be proven safe.