Development of fluorapatite cement for dental enamel defects repair
In order to restore the badly carious lesion of human dental enamel, a crystalline paste of fluoride substituted apatite cement was synthesized by using the mixture of tetracalcium phosphate (TTCP), dicalcium phosphate anhydrous (DCPA) and ammonium fluoride. The apatite cement paste could be directly filled into the enamel defects (cavities) to repair damaged dental enamel. The results indicated that the hardened cement was fluorapatite [Ca10(PO4)6F2, FA] with calcium to phosphorus atom molar ratio (Ca/P) of 1.67 and Ca/F ratio of 5. The solubility of FA cement in Tris–HCl solution (pH = 5) was slightly lower than the natural enamel, indicating the FA cement was much insensitive to the weakly acidic solutions. The FA cement was tightly combined with the enamel surface, and there was no obvious difference of the hardness between the FA cement and natural enamel. The extracts of FA cement caused no cytotoxicity on L929 cells, which satisfied the relevant criterion on dental biomaterials, revealing good cytocompatibility. In addition, the results showed that the FA cement had good mechanical strength, hydrophilicity, and anti-bacterial adhesion properties. The study suggested that using FA cement was simple and promising approach to effectively and conveniently restore enamel defects.