Scientists have come up with a new material made from bile acids which they hope to use as dental fillings in the near future.
Researchers in China and Canada have used bile acids to make a hardy, durable plastic substance to use as an alternative to composite or amalgam fillings.
Bile acids are naturally occurring substances which are produced by the liver and are stored in the gall bladder to help in fat digestion.
There is an increasing trend in the use of white composite materials over the traditional mercury-amalgam fillings. Traditional amalgam fillings containing mercury have raised health concerns among some consumers and its production has encountered environmental issues.
In an article published in the ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, scientists explained the bile acid harvest which finally was converted to a hard, durable plastic.
The new material seems to be more resistant against cracking than any other material currently in use. It therefore lowers the likelihood of painful cracked fillings and the resulting emergency visits to the dentist.