Wed October 19th 2011
16:00
ZH286
Seminar 1: A study of irrigant transport into tubules 2: Acoustic streaming and cavitation at the dentist
Bram Verhaagen, Pascal Sleutel

Details:

ABOUT 1: A study of irrigant transport into tubules

Teeth contain a lot of channels with a mean diameter of five micron and a length in order of a millimeter, which are called tubules. In case of a bacterial invasion of the teeth, these tubules are the perfect hiding place for the bacteria because the cleaning fluid (irrigant) used to remove all biomaterial accesses it very slow. The goal of the research is to measure this transport and make it faster. A simulation by Bram predicts that the transport is only convective at the entrance and after that dominated by diffusion. In the talk, our efforts to experimentally study this transport of irrigant into tubules will be discussed. A fluorescent dye is used as an irrigant and the tubules are made transparent by using a PDMS model.


ABOUT 2: Acoustic streaming and cavitation at the dentist

The group has recently had its share of visits to the dentist, with a couple of root canal treatments and other dental procedures. This rationalizes the work on our project, where we try to improve root canal cleaning by getting a better understanding of the physical mechanisms involved. Specifically, we investigate experimentally the working mechanisms (acoustic streaming and/or cavitation) behind ultrasonic cleaning and the influence of the confinement of the root canal on these mechanisms. Ultrasonic cleaning, induced by an oscillating miniature file, has been shown to remove bacteria and debris significantly better than the conventional irrigation using a needle and syringe, but there is still room for improvement. In this seminar we will show the physics that is involved in root canal cleaning, including the scary sounds generated by dental tools.
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