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Medicine Printer Technology Build

3D-Printed Teeth Can Kill 99% of Dental Bacteria (thestack.com) 120

An anonymous reader writes: A research group in the Netherlands has developed a new plastic resin that can destroy most dental bacteria when used for the creation of dental appliances via 3D-printing. The process involves embedding antimicrobial quaternary ammonium salts inside extant dental resin polymers. Since the salts are positively charged, these disrupt negatively-charged bacterial membranes. The process is also being mooted for use in the creation of knee arthroplasties, and in the manufacture of children's toys and food packaging.
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3D-Printed Teeth Can Kill 99% of Dental Bacteria

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 22, 2015 @08:18AM (#50780053)

    I think by the time you *need* printed teeth, the bacteria pretty much has done its thing.

    • by Mr D from 63 ( 3395377 ) on Thursday October 22, 2015 @08:26AM (#50780091)

      I think by the time you *need* printed teeth, the bacteria pretty much has done its thing.

      Yeah, but then you can bite people without infecting them.

    • I think by the time you *need* printed teeth, the bacteria pretty much has done its thing.

      Ah yes, another wonderful example of god's amazing "Intelligent Design" in all its glory...teeth that inevitably decay, even with careful, meticulous daily maintenance.

      Left to themselves they quickly become rotten and infected and kill you.

      Stand in awe of the Wonders Of His Ineffable and Mysterious Plan!

      • If I had mod today, sir, I would mod you down to Hell for your appalling lack of respect for the Divine Plan. Unfortunately, my arthritis is killing me, my brain is slowly deteriorating due to atherosclerotic plaque and amyloidosis, my appendix is flaring up again, and my children have a lean and hungry look to them that suggests that they are eager to recover all of the resources I consume by continuing to exist in competition with them -- and (I almost forgot) I have no mod points to give or take.

        I'm hop

        • Hell, I'd be happy if someone managed to add opiate pathway genes to a coffee bean.

          Great expectations and all that.

      • Don't get me wrong, I do not believe in intelligent design at all, but deaf and decay seem like a integral part of society progressing. If I was to "design" life may well be part of it, even though the individual organisms in it may not like it.

        If people did not die you would be stuck with your parent's ideas for ever. The older generation would never release there resources to the younger one, that is if they would even have children in the first place, why would they, if they are going to live forever. De

        • by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Thursday October 22, 2015 @04:19PM (#50783767)

          that is if they would even have children in the first place, why would they, if they are going to live forever

          I didn't have kids because I'm going to die someday, I had kids because I wanted someone else to do the dishes.

        • by rhyous ( 1727822 )

          Wait. Intelligent Design is proven. That intelligent design is possible and happens is proven. We humans have practiced intelligent design. We have changed evolution. Manipulated DNA. Designed new species. Sure, many people are afraid of some of this, such as GMO products, but that doesn't change the fact that we humans are intelligent and we sure do design new life.

          Did you mean you don't believe in a perfect supreme being? Because not believing in intelligent design is kind of silly as it is already scient

      • This dang code. It is buggy and crashes at unexpected time. Good thing I didn't write the code, it just evolved over time. Surely this poor code wasn't a result of intelligent design. :-)

        Your assumption is flawed: Intelligent design != flawless design

        Also, you are mocking God and intelligent design but perhaps you really only meant to mock God. The idea of a perfect flawless being who can do anything and makes no mistakes. Of course the original word that translated to the word "perfect" in the Bible would

        • Also, you are mocking God and intelligent design but perhaps you really only meant to mock God.

          Wow, gotta get up pretty early in the afternoon to put one over on you, huh? :)

          But seriously, it's kinda hard to mock something that doesn't exist. On the other hand, with all the fabulous bullshit that "god" supposedly entails, it's a target-rich environment for mocking. I mean, here's this "all powerful" super-being who can't even do some of the everyday things I can do...kinda hard to buy into the "all powerful" claim when that's the case. (And yes, there are all sorts of things I can do that an "all pow

    • But, but... 3D Printing!!!
  • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Thursday October 22, 2015 @08:28AM (#50780101) Homepage

    ... you can work 3d printing into a higher percentage of your stories than this. Here, let me help:

    Experts Chime In To Explain Fukushima Thryoid Cancer Concerns; Possibility To 3D Print New Thyroids?
    Samsung Demos PCIe NVMe SSD At 5.6 GB Per Second, 1 Million IOPS - Can Store Over 100k Printable 3D Models
    DARPA Program Targets Image Doctoring, Hasn't Yet Tackled 3D Printed Duplicates
    Oracle Fixes Java Vulnerability Used By Russian Cyberspies With 3D-Printed Keyboard We Assume Based On No Evidence
    Should Japan Restart More Nuclear Power Plants And Retrofit Them With 3D-Printed Control Rods?
    Only 8% of the Universe's Habitable Worlds Have Formed So Far; Remainder Awaiting Jumbo-Sized MakerBot.

    Come on, Slashdot, you can do it! [google.is]

    • Give it time we will run into all of these, put them on paper in a vault and check back once every 10 years, pass on to children repeat..
    • Whoa, nice.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      If you give me a place to stand, then I can 3D print the world!
      -- With apologies to Archimedes.

    • I'm waiting to be able to 3d print my own evil lair on a volcanic island.

    • Good one. Well since my personal pet peeve is Slashdot's advertising for The (goddamned motherfucking) Martian, I'll rewrite these for that:

      Fukushima Thryoid Cancer Concerns Remarkably Similar to Those Depicted in The Martian
      Author of The Martian Debunks Samsung PCIe NVMe SSD At 5.6 GB Per Second
      Could DARPA Image Doctoring Program Be Used To Fake Mars Landing?
      Oracle Fixes Java Vulnerability, Unlike Anything That Happens in The Martian
      Should Japan Build Nuclear Power Plants on Mars Since They're Doing

  • by Maury Markowitz ( 452832 ) on Thursday October 22, 2015 @08:32AM (#50780119) Homepage

    This technique will clearly work forever, because we all know that bacteria populations do not evolve to take advantage of useful niches when other populations wane.

    After all, there's no real advantage to taking over a nice warm, wet, mobile and highly interacting environment that accounts for a large percentage of the entire planet's land mammal biomass.

    • by DRJlaw ( 946416 ) on Thursday October 22, 2015 @08:39AM (#50780155)

      This technique will clearly work forever, because we all know that bacteria populations do not evolve to take advantage of useful niches when other populations wane.

      Since you clearly will not live forever, why do you even bother?

      *beat pause*

      Exactly...

      That's why they're developing this material. It's still better than the alternative.

      • by Maury Markowitz ( 452832 ) on Thursday October 22, 2015 @09:13AM (#50780323) Homepage

        > It's still better than the alternative.

        No no no, we definitely do NOT know that. Wiping out one population makes way for others that will definitely take up the niche. Those are currently being outcompeted by the existing population, but if you kill that off, that 1% remaining gets the whole thing to itself. This is what drives evolution.

        So the question is, and always should be, whether or not those 1% are more benign *to us* than the 99% we currently have. Bacteria don't measure their success based on what happens to us, only what happens to them. Its very possible that the ones that are unsuccessful against other bacteria are perfectly successful in attacking us.

        You have to be careful with these things, as the continual stream of stories right here on /. note. We have been putting anti-bacterial crap in everything around us, and now we are seeing the outcome of those decisions. Are we better off than in 1940? Absolutely yes. Are we better off than 1985? That is highly debatable.

        • by Dog-Cow ( 21281 )

          Bacteria don't measure anything, much less a nebulous concept such as "their success".

        • Also we actually need bacteria to live, there is a lot of bacteria in your mouth that is good, aids in digestion, protects against decay, I find it bazaar that so many people seem tho think that all bacteria and must be eliminated.

          Even most "bad" bacteria helps us build up immunity, of course there are exceptions, and limits, but this anti bacterial craze, is just crazy, driven by an attempt for some companies to make money of our phobias.

        • by cyn1c77 ( 928549 )

          > It's still better than the alternative.

          No no no, we definitely do NOT know that. Wiping out one population makes way for others that will definitely take up the niche. Those are currently being outcompeted by the existing population, but if you kill that off, that 1% remaining gets the whole thing to itself. This is what drives evolution.

          So the question is, and always should be, whether or not those 1% are more benign *to us* than the 99% we currently have. Bacteria don't measure their success based on what happens to us, only what happens to them. Its very possible that the ones that are unsuccessful against other bacteria are perfectly successful in attacking us.

          You have to be careful with these things, as the continual stream of stories right here on /. note. We have been putting anti-bacterial crap in everything around us, and now we are seeing the outcome of those decisions. Are we better off than in 1940? Absolutely yes. Are we better off than 1985? That is highly debatable.

          You're right!

          But by that logic, we should stop brushing our teeth, right?

        • by DRJlaw ( 946416 )

          It's still better than the alternative.

          No no no, we definitely do NOT know that.

          Yes, we definately do know that. You have to develop the material in order to test its outcome. If you do nothing, which is the alternative suggested by the GP, you do not know the practical outcome and thus, by definition, are worse off than knowing the outcome and rejecting the known material.

          You may be Kreskin, but the rest of us rely upon experimental evidence.

        • The material doesn't make the entire mouth germ-free, it makes the junction and the artificial tooth unable to sustain bacterial growth. There is no down-side to that.
    • by cdrudge ( 68377 ) on Thursday October 22, 2015 @08:42AM (#50780167) Homepage

      I have a friend who's jaw bone became infected after bacteria decided to take up residence under some dental caps. She's been fighting for over 3 years to get things corrected and has had multiple surgeries where they peeled her gums back so that they could shave the bone down to remove the infection. This is in addition to needing to get new temporary caps every couple of months as she couldn't get her semi-permanent ones until the infection was completely cleared up.

      She was really excited when I showed her an article about this technology several days ago not because it would help her with what she was going through, but some day it might help others not to have to go through what she went through.

      The substance isn't suppose to take the place of regular dental hygiene, or to kill off everything. But if it can help kill off bacteria in hard to reach/clean locations which is pretty common with implants and braces, then that's a good thing.

      • Ah.. had a cyst removed from my jaw and got - surprise - an infection. A double dose of strong antibiotics did nothing but ruin my gut and the abscess was oozing and hurting still afterwards. Then my sis recommended oil pulling (yeah, right..) and I've been fine ever since. Did it 20mins, twice a day, for a week or so until it cleared up. Now I only do it as a regular mouth wash if I feel like it. High quality extra-virgin olive or coconut oils and the swelling and pain was gone. But then again I started do
    • There are other strains of dental bacteria which don't produce the acids which destroy your teeth. When you completely wipe out the bacteria in your mouth, they get re-introduced from the environment. Take your pick; there's plenty of reasons this will work forever.
    • Since "quats" are already used extensively as sanitizers in the health care and commercial food processing industries its possible that it has already contributed to the evolution of existing superbugs like MSRA. Now please excuse me while I autoclave my tinfoil hat...
    • With harmful bacteria you have to be 100% efficient, or you're just contributing to their evolutionary progression. This still leaves the question of whether harmful bacteria are really 100% harmful. There are nasty bacteria on the ground that prevent us from getting overwhelmed by an avalanche of rotting corpses. Some of the dental bacteria might be there for a similar reason. Maybe a better solution is not to kill the bacteria but to develop decay-resistant teeth or teeth coating.
    • The biome won't change much if this only kills bacteria on the tooth surface.
    • After all, there's no real advantage to taking over a nice warm, wet, mobile and highly interacting environment that accounts for a large percentage of the entire planet's land mammal biomass.

      Besides the obvious, it also has a much larger-scale strategic and geopolitical importance [theonion.com].

  • Mooted: who knew? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Thursday October 22, 2015 @08:32AM (#50780129) Journal
    I would suggest weighing the long range effects of a bactericidal compound versus the perceived benefits of some form of germ free existence.

    The role(s) played by bacteria in the ecosystem that is a mammalian body are even now not completely understood...

    and microorganisms show a valiant ability to evolve around attempts to exterminate them.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      For those of us with terrible teeth, who have fresh cavities every visit to the dentist despite 2 or more times a day of brushing and daily flossing (and the dentist even agreeing that you're basically screwed, because your teeth come in clean as a whistle, but full of holes), well, this will be a godsend.

      Yes, getting a nightguard to prevent grinding my teeth has helped, but the damage is done and I'm probably going to get problems for the rest of my life.

      Trust me, once you get to experience getting a coupl

      • Perhaps the brushing and flossing is the problem, gross as the alternative is.

        • No, the problem is brushing and flossing far too much. They are both important, but over doing it is terrible for your teeth. Do you know who benefits when you do so? The dentists that recommend brushing your teeth too much and at the worst possible time. Who tell you that you need to floss your teeth every day no matter what.

          When a profession profits greatly from your health being poor you shouldn't trust their advice to keep yourself healthy.
      • I suggest that your problem is that you are taking the advice of dentists without a second thought.
        The dentist makes far more money if the average person has poor teeth, so what exactly is their motivation to give you good advice?
        Let's go over just a couple of the things that dentists recommend for you:

        You should brush your teeth right after each meal -- For at least half an hour after eating the enamel of your teeth is significantly weakened by the acids in the food. Brushing your teeth during this
    • by Trailer Trash ( 60756 ) on Thursday October 22, 2015 @10:02AM (#50780623) Homepage

      I would suggest weighing the long range effects of a bactericidal compound versus the perceived benefits of some form of germ free existence.

      The role(s) played by bacteria in the ecosystem that is a mammalian body are even now not completely understood...

      and microorganisms show a valiant ability to evolve around attempts to exterminate them.

      This is what I came to say. We have 10x as many bacterial cells in our bodies as human cells, as bacteria are far smaller. We absolutely need them. They help us digest our food. They live on our skin. Probably a part of the reason we don't get infected often is that our friendly bacteria are able to fight off bad ones.

      Our mouth bacteria have evolved along with us. Yeah, they hurt our teeth if we leave food in there. But they have no evolutionary incentive to harm us. I don't want to kill the bacteria in my mouth as something far more sinister might be able to take up residence. Beyond that, I don't know what other advantages they might be giving me and I'd rather not find out the hard way.

      • Re:Mooted: who knew? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Scottingham ( 2036128 ) on Thursday October 22, 2015 @10:12AM (#50780699)

        I don't think these teeth would kill off all the bacteria in the mouth. It would just prevent them from adhering to the tooth itself to cause trouble.

        • by mjm1231 ( 751545 )

          I don't think it's possible to know this based on the information given in the article. Do you have another source?

          OTOH, it's already well known what happens when bacteria populations are driven too low in the mouth. Fungi take advantage of the lack of competition.

      • ..friendly bacteria..

        Note that I am not disagreeing with your comment, but I wouldn't quite put it as 'friendly' bacteria. They co-exist with us in a symbiotic relationship, yes, but if you do something to put things too far out of balance, these so-called 'friendly' bacteria can overbreed and become harmful, too. As others above and below you have mentioned, we're just starting to understand how the populations of bacteria in and on our bodies impact our overall health and well-being.

  • by Chrisq ( 894406 ) on Thursday October 22, 2015 @08:36AM (#50780143)
    It's the other 1% that you have to worry about. Seriously, killing 99% of the mouth bacteria could leave the way for a harmful partially resistant bacteria to multiply, like c difficile can do in people treated with antibiotics.
    • That's not speculative; isn't that pretty much the observed pattern in the abundant examples of human overuse of antiseptics and bactericides? We kill off the multitude of fauna that evolved there, leaving it open for the aggressive, really DANGEROUS ones to now multiply unhindered.

  • Microbiome (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 22, 2015 @08:36AM (#50780145)

    We have a lot of bacteria in our gut that, as it turns out, are quite beneficial and even necessary to our well-being. I would be surprised if killing 99% of dental bacteria does not come with ill effects.

    • by Halo1 ( 136547 )

      We have a lot of bacteria in our gut that, as it turns out, are quite beneficial and even necessary to our well-being. I would be surprised if killing 99% of dental bacteria does not come with ill effects.

      It does: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pu... [nih.gov]

      TLDR: having caries may help protect against head and neck cancers.

  • by mysidia ( 191772 ) on Thursday October 22, 2015 @08:48AM (#50780195)

    ..... for use in the creation of knee arthroplasties, and in the manufacture of children's toys and food packaging.

    The manufacture of kids toys and packaging is a ridiculous and wasteful usage for an anti-bacterial product.

    The more common things you put this in.... the more organisms are likely to adapt so that this method is no longer beneficial, assuming the resources (such as food) exist for organisms to survive.

    It's best to allow the use of anti-bio technologies in only limited applications where it is truly beneficial, so you minimize the effects of natural selection.

    Otherwise, you will again have things growing on this new type of surface, and so it will most likely be rendered ineffective at some point in the future.

    • Given the mechanism targets a core property, this applies to both "good" and "bad" bacteria. The thing to fill the niche may not be bacteria at all...
    • It's not wasteful if the plastic polymer is cheap and labor-non-intensive to manufacture compared to alternatives.
      • He wasn't talking about squandering money or labour, he was talking about squandering anti-bacterial potential.

        With this said, I'm extremely doubtful that children's toy packaging is so biologically significant to Earth's ecosystem that it would move the needle on disease immunity.

        The trick is that bacteria lose their adaptations to bacteria-resistant things when the bacteria-resistant things are removed from their environment.

        • That's not how that works. The population of bacteria over a surface is huge; it's not going to evolve to live on a plastic duck any more than humans have evolved to live in the antarctic without special equipment.
          • by mysidia ( 191772 )

            The population of bacteria over a surface is huge; it's not going to evolve to live on a plastic duck

            Sure it could..... the population of bacteria that will come in contact with such surfaces over time will be larger if they're on all the kids toys. If one cell eventually mutates and overcomes the properties of the material, they will thrive there and become plentiful, since there is no competition (They can survive in an additional environment that is almost everywhere and readily available, t

  • The good news is 99% of the dental bacteria can be killed without brushing teeth or flossing.

    The bad news is, you need to knock your teeth out and replace it with plastic substitutes.

    BTW, which 99% of the bacteria this thing kills? The 99% of the bacteria in our bodies that are beneficial, symbiotic ones or the 1% malicious rebellious anti-eukaryote alliance bacteria? The 99% of the bacteria that is odorless?

    • It's in your mouth, so it's killing localized bacteria.
    • I am not a doctor but this seems like it would be about the same thing as rinsing with hydrogen peroxide several times a day.

      Hydrogen peroxide is not an anti-bacterial compound, it just works as such because it breaks open cell walls which then kills the cells.

      So it would seem to me that this would be an indiscriminate killer of cells...

      • Sort of but not quite. Hydrogen peroxide is an equal opportunity oxidizer. Whether it comes in contact with a bacterial cell wall or your own, it will create free radicals and set up a romper / stomper pathway that will chew up most anything biological. Now, if you likewise rinsed your mouth out with some handy - dandy quaternary amine like Benzalkonium chloride, both you and your commensal bacteria would be in a world of hurt.

        The idea behind this system is the active compounds are covalently bound to t

  • I haven't had my first cup of coffee yet, so, I don't feel so bad about having to lookup "quaternary ", "extant " and "mooted" this early in the a.m.! Come on.....admit it....a lot of you had to do the same thing.....
    • by Cederic ( 9623 )

      I use 'extant' and 'moot' (or 'mooted') regularly. Quaternary I don't use but do know, just not in that context.

      Read more books. It'll help your vocabulary.

  • I want bond villain stainless steel teeth.. Why cant we have those?

  • Quaternary ammonium salts are used as disinfectants, surfactants, fabric softeners, and as antistatic agents (e.g. in shampoos). In liquid fabric softeners, the chloride salts are often used. In dryer anticling strips, the sulfate salts are often used. Spermicidal jellies also contain quaternary ammonium salts.

    Are we sure this is safe to have in your mouth 24/7/365? Long-term studies done?

    • Quaternary ammonium salts are used as disinfectants, surfactants, fabric softeners, and as antistatic agents (e.g. in shampoos). In liquid fabric softeners, the chloride salts are often used. In dryer anticling strips, the sulfate salts are often used. Spermicidal jellies also contain quaternary ammonium salts.

      Are we sure this is safe to have in your mouth 24/7/365? Long-term studies done?

      Long term studies are being done by customers. They may not realize it.

      • Long term studies are being done by customers. They may not realize it.

        Really. So who, exactly, has been putting this substance in their mouths for years and years? Nothing mentioned above is anything that goes in your mouth and stays there for years and years.

        • Long term studies are being done by customers. They may not realize it.

          Really. So who, exactly, has been putting this substance in their mouths for years and years? Nothing mentioned above is anything that goes in your mouth and stays there for years and years.

          Not "have been", but "will be".

  • I would love to have all my teeth pulled and replaced with 3D printed versions. I also want them to be running Windows 10 IoT so that instead of bacterial infections, I get malware infections, AND I get 2 trendy buzzwords with one simple operation!
  • I'm sure that tastes great.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Lets say you kill 99% of the bacteria
    Lets say that the doubling time is 2 hours (in optimal conditions, bacteria can double in ~ 18 minutes)

    do the math: after a few days, at most, you are back to start, but with bacteria that are resistant to common dis infectants

    also, if you have like a basic knowledge of bacteria and human health, you know that "health" for exposed surfaces, like skin teeth gums, is a *balance* between good an bad bacteria: if the plastic tooth kills off good bacteria, you are much worse

  • = fresh, white teeth. ;}
  • "The process is also being mooted for use in the creation of knee arthroplasties..."

    moot

    moot/Submit

    verb

    past tense: mooted; past participle: mooted

    raise (a question or topic) for discussion; suggest (an idea or possibility). "Sylvia needed a vacation, and a trip to Ireland had been mooted"

    TIL

  • So to summarize, a type of plastic is not bacteria friendly. To make it more interesting, they made an article saying that it could be used as fake teeth. And to make that more interesting, they had to add that it could be 3-D printed. Why didn't they go for the hat trick and say it could be delivered to your mouth by a drone?

  • That 1% will grow unchecked. And how much of the 99% is good for us?
  • In any case, there is another alternative and that is to go on a ketogenic diet. Within a few months, the bacteria are gone because you are no longer feeding them. And along with the bacteria the plaque is also gone. It also works wonders for gingivitis and bleeding gums and it is all but free - no visit to the dentist required.
  • I was born without one of the genes that allows enamel formation. After root canals, post and cores, and crowns, I still lost them (as expected). Now they can just 3d print me up some? AWESOME! I'd rather have implants but don't have $20K.
  • What is the possibility of mouth bacteria evolving to mouth super-bacteria? Bacteria are very adaptive creatures, and we continue to find out with many baterial diseases that were once wiped out, only tocome back stronger and meaner than before. Look at the FAIL in anti-bacterial soap - same thing.

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