Fabrication and evaluation of dental fillers using customized molds via 3D printing technology

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In view of the high incidence and long-term treatment of dental caries, personalized dental fillers with long therapeutic action have broad application prospects in the dental clinic. The objective of this study was to fabricate and evaluate novel dental fillers using state-of-the-art 3D printing technology. Tinidazole (TNZ), a commonly used antibacterial drug in the dental clinic, was chosen as the model compound. Models of molars with carious cavities were obtained via 3D scanning. TNZ dental fillers were indirectly produced by thermal pressing using customized 3D printed molds. In addition, bio-relevant in vitro dissolution and mechanical testing methods were developed using customized 3D printed release and compression molds, respectively. It was observed that the formability, mechanical properties, and release behavior of the TNZ dental fillers were affected by mold materials, plasticizers, and release modifiers. The developed dental fillers were capable of sustained releasing TNZ over one week. The TNZ release characteristics can be tailored based on clinical requirements by varying hydroxypropyl methylcellulose E5 (HPMC-E5) concentrations and filler dimensions. Moreover, computational simulation based on the finite element method showed that the biomechanical behavior of the TNZ dental fillers met the daily use requirement. The present study demonstrated that the state-of-the-art 3D printing technology can be used to design and fabricate personalized dental fillers with high mechanical strength and “on-demand” drug release characteristics.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

International Journal of Pharmaceutics