Dental Tribune India

Silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) in dentistry

By Dr. Aditya K. S.
November 19, 2021

Silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) are one of the most unique nanotechnology-based products among all metallic nanoparticles. This article by Dr. Aditya K. S. summarizes the evolving significance and application of Ag NPs in dentistry.

Silver nanoparticles in endodontics and dentistry make it more viable and exciting because of their excellent properties such as good conductivity, catalytic, chemical stability, and most significant anti-inflammatory and antiviral activities.

Silver Nanoparticles and silver integrated compounds are very lethal to microbes and 16 bacteria species, including bacteria, fungi, and viruses. The release of silver ions is accountable for the antibacterial activity, which later results in bacterial mortality. The bacterial constituents that Ag NPs destroy are DNA, proteins, and lipids. Also, it induces oxidative stress response by killing the bacterial cells. The efficacy of nanoparticles has a contrary connection with their size. In addition, charged nanoparticles do not scatter across the biofilm because of the carboxyl and phosphoryl groups on the bacteria's cell surface, which gives electronegative character.

The silver nanoparticles have effective antimicrobial ingredients in adhesives, prosthetics, implants, osteogenic induction, and inhibition of biofilm development. Nanoparticles can be incorporated in intracanal medicament, irrigation materials, and sealers. Antimicrobial action can also be seen in Streptococcus mutans, E. coli, E. faecalis, Candida albicans, and Actinomyces when mineral trioxide aggregate (MTA) and calcium-based cement were added with Silver Nanoparticles. 

Synthesis of Ag NPs involves physical, chemical, biological, and two other methods, bottom-up and top-down.  Antimicrobial properties of silver nanoparticles include Adhesion to the cell membrane, penetration inside the cell and nucleus, cell toxicity, and modulation of cell signaling. Addition of Ag NPs into different restorative materials such as Composites – as filler particles and Glass Ionomer - by diffusion. These nanoparticles can be used in root canal irrigant, intracanal medicament, Gutta-percha, and root canal sealer in endodontics. With the growth of silver nanoparticles in the market, so does the toxic effects of the surroundings and the health of human beings. 

Use of nanomaterials in dentistry:

  • Endodontics: silver and chitosan NPs in endodontic sealers for antimicrobial uses.
  • Periodontics: Periodontitis can be treated with tetracycline loaded periodontal patch.
  • Restorative dentistry: incorporation of nanoparticles to enhance mechanical properties.
  • Prosthodontics: metal alloy combination for making dentures.
  • Oral medicine: organic and inorganic nanoparticles can be used in therapeutics.
  • Oral surgery: repair bone defects and treat oral cancer with nanoparticles.
  • Orthodontics: coating of archwires and orthodontic bracket by nanoparticles.

Conclusion: Ag NPs can be adapted to improve their antibacterial stability, specificity, biosafety, and biocompatibility for therapeutic assistance and compressed possible toxicity. These silver nanoparticles are one of the most remarkable nanomaterials used in manufacturing and commercial applications. There are some limitations for Ag NPs; therefore, research should be done to overcome and explore more possibilities for applications in dentistry.

Lakshmi Thangavelu, Abdul Adil,
Arshad, Devaraj, Sreekanth Mallineni, Rishitha Sajja, Anil Chakradhar, and Mohmed Karobari. Antimicrobial Properties of Silver Nitrate Nanoparticle and Its Application in Endodontics and Dentistry: A Review of Literature. Hindawi, Journal of Nanomaterials. 2021, 12 pages Link:

Dr. Aditya K.S.

About the author:

Dr. Aditya completed his BDS from Government Dental College and Hospital, Kadapa. Currently, he is working as an Associate Dentist. When the second wave of COVID-19 was at its peak, he joined the State General Government Hospital, Kadapa as a Medical officer, and managed a large number of patients in the general ward and the ICU.

Aditya has cleared his National Board Dental Examinations (NBDE) by JCNDE, USA. He is interested in studying dental biomaterials, and aspiring to become a Biomaterials Research scientist.

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