From the instrument park: Liquid-induced erosion simulator
NIOM’s tool- and instrument shop enables the researchers to design the instruments they need.
The temperature can be adjusted to best fit the objective of each study.
NIOM’s new cycling device simulates the exposure of dentition and dental materials to various beverages. By combining the effects of saliva, abrasion and tooth brushing, the researcher can simulate a clinically relevant environment.
– We expect the device to help us gain new insight into the factors governing both tooth wear under a variety of conditions, and the damage done to dental materials, senior researcher Aida Mulic says.
The instrument was designed and built at NIOM. Senior researchers, Aida Mulic, Ida Sofia Refsholt Stenhagen and Ellen Bruzell, determined the necessary features. Engineer Dimitri Alkarra then produced construction drawings, and built and optimised the device.
How it works
The design of the cycler is deliberately flexible, allowing several parameters to be investigated. It has two chambers that can be filled with different liquids. Typically, for erosive research, these might be two acidic drinks or a drink and a saliva. The temperature is controllable.
Specimens, either teeth or dental materials, are mounted in a separate holder. The specimens can vary size and number. A small motor then moves the holder between the chambers, thus cycling between the liquids.
The researchers can tailor both the length of time the specimens remain in the solution, and the transfer-time between each liquid. This makes it possible to observe the effects of acidic liquids on a multitude of material combinations.
Investigating erosive wear
By combining simulated tooth wear with other methodologies, such as abrasion that mimics tooth brushing, the researchers can investigate how attrition, erosion and abrasion interact.
– This instrument is key in investigating erosive wear of both teeth and dental materials, Mulic says.
The researchers stress the importance of including an artificial saliva, both for its capacity to buffer erosive liquids and because it introduces new compounds.
– With the possibilities of the cycling device, we hope to get a fuller picture, Mulic says.
NIOM’s new cycling device simulates the exposure of different drinks on dentition and dental materials. By combining the effects of saliva, abrasion and tooth brushing, the researcher can simulate a clinically relevant environment.
NIOM Newsletter August 2020