Nanomedicines for Dental Applications-scope and Future Perspective
Nanotechnology is directed at manipulating matter at the nanometer level and the application of the same to medicine is called nanomedicine. Over the past few years researchers have developed various nanomedicines for diagnosis, prevention as well as cure of various ailments both locally and systemically. In dentistry, drug loaded nanopharmaceuticals based on nanomaterials have been utilized extensively over the past few years to cure dental problems and facilitate attainment of a near-perfect oral hygiene. Although various drug delivery systems have already been investigated for treating periodontitis, research is currently focused on nanodelivery systems for efficient targeted delivery of drugs to the periodontal pocket. In this context a few nanodelivery systems explored include nanocomposite hydrogels, nanoparticles, nanoemulsion etc. A number of herbal and synthetic drugs examples of which include trichlosan, tetracycline, Harungana madagascariensis leaf extract, minocycline, metronidazole, chlorhexidine have been encapsulated into nanodelivery systems for treating periodontitis. A few examples of polymers investigated as matrices for the delivery of drugs to the periodontal pocket include chitosan, Poly lactic-co-glycolic acid copolymer, poly e caprolactone, polylactic acid, polypropylene, cellulose acetate propionate and ethyl vinyl acetate. In the near future also nanotechnology is expected to find its application in all the specializations of dentistry ranging from diagnosis and treatment of oral cancers to development of colloidal suspension containing millions of active analgesic micron-size dental robots resulting in anesthesia in patients. In the light of the above facts the current editorial focuses on the applications of nanotechnology based nanomedicines which cannot be undermined in the improvement of dental health and hygiene both, in the current as well as in future scenario.