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Hydrogels for dental applications

Tooth is one of the important organs which often gets affected by bacterial invasion, trauma, or congenital anomalies. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 90% of adult faces different extent of tooth decay. Moreover, a large group of people older than 60 years old always face moderate to severe periodontal disease, which eventually results in tooth loss. In most common cases, dental caries can inflame the pulp tissues, requiring clinical treatment for the removal of necrotic dental tissues followed by filling them with biocompatible materials. Recently, with the increasing need for dental implants for the treatment of missing teeth, the number of cases of peri-implant diseases (PIDs) are also increasing. For the treatment of both periodontal and PIDs, various hydrogel-based biomaterials have been used extensively and become a well-known treatment strategy. On the other hand, while filling with bio-inert materials is reported to weaken the tooth and change its structure, artificial prosthetic dental implants are observed to cause peri-implant bone loss, infection, and allergic reactions. Therefore, simultaneous treatment of damaged teeth and regeneration of dental tissues with hydrogel-based scaffolds has become an alternative strategy, which is widely investigated in the area of dental tissue engineering.

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