Acrylic Composite Biomaterials for Dental Applications: A Review of Recent Progress
Keywords:Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), Composite Biomaterials, Dental Applications
Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) is regarded as one of the most widely used and prominent biomaterials for biomedical applications, particularly in dental technology. The unique properties of PMMA regarding its aesthetics, price-affordable availability, easy manipulation, low density, and tailorable mechanical behaviours, make it an eminently suitable biomaterial for such applications. Despite its beneficial properties, PMMA has also some shortcomings in terms of susceptibility to hydrolytic degradation and having insufficient mechanical properties that could prevent this material to be able to handle the various applied forces during its use, which in turn make it vulnerable to fracture. Furthermore, PMMA could serve as a substrate to growth of harmful bacteria and fungi such as Candida glabrata that can cause agents of oral cavity infection and could seriously affect the stamina and person’s health in general. A wide range of approaches have been developed in order to enhance not only the mechanical and thermal behaviours but also water sorption, solubility and the biological activities of PMMA. Incorporating of reinforcement additives into PMMA matrix can improve these properties of PMMA. Several methods and materials have been utilised to reinforce acrylic resin denture base. One of these methods is the reinforcement by using particles whether from natural or synthetic sources including metals and ceramics. Apart from their sources, the particles surface characteristics, quantity and level of dispersion play an essential role in overall behaviour of the composites. Other types of reinforcements are natural and human-made fibers. Each of such has merits and disadvantages; while the synthetic fibers can provide better mechanical properties, natural fibers promote creating better composites in terms of biocompatibility and affordability. Nanotubes are the other spectacular kind of materials being utilised in some studies as a reinforcing phase for PMMA composites. This review will highlight the recent studies that have been conducted for the last decade regarding the development of PMMA-based composite biomaterials for dental applications.
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