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Should we be concerned about composite (nano-)dust?
Link to Journal Abstract
Dental personnel often come into contact with composite dust upon polishing or grinding composites. Contemporary composites typically contain high amounts of (silica) nano-filler, but so far it has never been investigated whether composite dust may be hazardous.
Objectives The objectives of this study were (1) to characterize composite dust in vitro and (2) to assess the clinical exposure. Methods Polymerized blocks of contemporary composites were ground with a diamond bur according to a clinically relevant protocol, and aerosolized dust was collected on 1-?m pore-size filters and gravimetrically quantified. In addition, the dust was characterized by transmission electron microscopy. Respirable dust was quantified with a mass particle counter in a dental operatory. Results All composites released respirable dust (<5 ?m) in vitro. These observations were corroborated by the clinical measurements; however only short episodes of high concentrations of respirable dust upon polishing composites could be observed. Electron microscopic analysis showed that the size of the dust varied widely with particles larger than 10 ?m, but submicron and even nano-sized particles could also be observed. The dust particles often consisted of multiple filler particles contained in resin, but single nano-filler particles could also frequently be distinguished. Significance This study showed that inhalation of composite dust is better avoided. Therefore, it is recommended to always use water-cooling upon polishing or removing composites, to use good aspiration, to frequently ventilate the dental operatory and to wear masks with high particle-filtration efficiency for small particle sizes.
The objectives of this study were (1) to characterize composite dust in vitro and (2) to assess the clinical exposure. Contemporary composites typically contain high amounts of (silica) nano-filler, but so far it has never been investigated whether composite dust may be hazardous.
Peer Reviewed Journal Article
Exposure Or Hazard Target
Method Of Study
Material Analysis and Applications
Risk Exposure Group
Dental Materials, 28(11): 1162-1170 (November 2012)
Van Landuyt KL, Yoshihara K, Geebelen B, Peumans M, Godderis L, Hoet P, Van Meerbeek B
Last updated on December 7, 2012
This work is supported in part by the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Initiative of the National Science Foundation
under NSF Award Number EEC-0118007.
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