About this Research Topic
Millions of people worldwide suffer from oral diseases, disorders, and/or conditions of the oral cavity, maxillofacial area, and/or the adjacent and associated structures. These despairing conditions might require dental biomaterials to repair and rehabilitation. Historically, dental biomaterials were intended to provide core functions, such as mechanical support to masticatory loads (e.g., dental crowns) or optical properties to display pleasant and natural appearance (e.g., resin composites). This approach has led to the successful design of numerous clinically used materials over the years, such as sealants, orthodontic adhesives, luting cement, hybrids materials for computer-assisted design/computer-assisted manufacturing (CAD/CAM)-based restorative dentistry.
Advances in material design and polymer chemistry have recently allowed us to incorporate dynamic features into biomaterials. This approach ranges from the design of materials that hold low polymerization shrinkage, to eliminate internal stresses and stresses at the margins of the restoration, to those that have stimuli-responsive and interactive properties, where chemical or biological signals can trigger a response in dental material properties or release drugs on-demand which makes the material “biointeractive.”
Our increased understanding of native tissue architecture and cell-material interactions, as well as the development of processing methods and chemical syntheses, has driven the design of new bioactive agents and, consequently, new biointeractive or bioactive dental materials. The use of bioactive materials, in which either the material itself or a released factor elicits an effect, increases the chances of local regeneration while decreasing the likelihood of adverse effects elsewhere.
Over the years, numerous natural or synthetic nano- to microscale agents have been assessed for bioactivity in the oral environment to be delivered by dental materials in multiple clinical indications. Data to-date clearly illustrate that biomaterials for use in the maintenance of oral health are developing at a rapid pace. It has been shown that significant strides have been achieved toward the clinical application of bioactive dental materials. Understanding the fundamentals of these processes will unlock future opportunities in the rational design of desired properties and materials.
This Research Topic is intended to provide an overview of the latest and most exciting advances in the preparation, characterizations, and applications of various emerging advanced dental materials, which may help readers to understand the basics and latest developments in this field. Articles should discuss natural and synthetic biomimetic, bioinspired, and bioactive agents and materials developed with its incorporation over different length scales and their capacity to modulate bacterial cell functions and/or to deliver in localized and sustained fashion various therapeutics. We believe that this collection will gain the attention of a broad range of researchers in the areas of material science, chemistry, biotechnology, and dental clinicians.
Original Research Articles, Reviews, and Mini-Reviews on, but not limited to, the following topics can be included:
• Bioactive materials, including antibacterial materials and drug delivery carriers
• Synthetic routes, including precursor development and functionalization of nanostructured and nanoscale materials intended for dental applications
• Structure-property relationships in dental materials: biological, optical, mechanical, chemical, photochemical
• Biocompatibility and systemic effect of bioactive agents and derived materials
• Modeling and simulation of properties and behavior of bioactive materials in the intra-oral environment
• The use of functional biopolymers, inorganic materials, and/or bionanomaterials as dental materials
Keywords: dental materials, bioactive, biocompatibility, biopolymer
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.