Global Health Nexus, Winter 2003

$5.9 Million Awarded to NYU Dentistry to Develop a Design Prototype to Extend the Life of Ceramic Crowns

NYU Dentistry has received a $5.9 million grant from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) to develop guidelines that will make it possible to use basic materials’ properties to accurately predict the long-term clinical performance of new aesthetic dental materials.

Collaborating with NYU on this initiative are physicists, engineers, materials scientists, statisticians, and clinicians from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Princeton University, the University of Maryland at College Park, the University of Maryland at Baltimore, and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), as well as corporations including Vita Zhanfabrik, H Rauter GmbH and Co KG, Ivoclar, Vivadent AG, Corning Incorporated, St. Gobain Advanced Ceramics Desmarquest, Dentsply Ceramco, and Theries, Inc. Dr. Dianne Rekow, Professor of Basic Science and Craniofacial Biology and of Orthodontics and Director of Translational Research, is the grant’s principal investigator.

This award represents phase two of a study that Dr. Rekow and her co-principal investigator, Dr. Van P. Thompson, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Biomaterials and Biomimetics and Acting Chairman of the Department of Cariology and Operative Dentistry, have led for the past seven years with the goal of developing a fundamental understanding of damage initiation and accumulation in all-ceramic dental crowns.

The current goal is to develop a rational design that will yield a damage-tolerant structure that can withstand microcracks within a layer of materials without sacrificing the structural integrity of the system. These efforts to enhance machinability and performance of ceramics are expected to culminate in guidelines for improved product development and subsequent benefits for patients, dentists, and industry.