Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) resin is the most commonly used material in the fabrication of dentures for a number of reasons including cost, aesthetics, and lack of toxicity. However, it has low impact resistance and frequently cracks when used in dentures, so scientists have been looking for ways to improve the mechanical performance of the resin.
A team from Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Saudi Arabia, led by Dr Mohammed M. Gad tested PMMA composites with different ratios of nano-ZrO2 to glass fibers against a control polymer with no reinforcement. The specimens were tested for flexural strength using a three-point bending test, while impact strength was measured using a pendulum impact test machine.
PMMA composites with nano-ZrO2 and glass fibres of all ratios had significantly higher flexural and impact strength than the un-reinforced control, while the specimen with a 50:50 ratio of nano-ZrO2 to glass fiber had the maximum flexural and impact strength.
Given the importance of mechanical performance in artificial dentures, nano-ZrO2 and glass fiber PMMA composites should be studied further. Future studies should investigate varying the total concentration within the composite as well as testing the ageing of the dentures.
This blog post is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY). Illustration by David Jury.