Fluoride plus functionalized β-TCP: A promising combination for robust remineralization

RL Karlinsey, AM Pfarrer. Fluoride plus functionalized β-TCP: A promising combination for robust remineralization. Advances in Dental Research 24, 48 (2012).


With more than 50 years of clinical success, fluoride serves as the gold standard agent for preventing tooth decay. In particular, the action of fluoride facilitates saliva-driven remineralization of demineralized enamel and alters solubility beneficially. Still, tooth decay remains problematic, and one way to address it may be through the development of new mineralizing agents. Laboratory and clinical studies have demonstrated that the combination of fluoride and functionalized β-tricalcium phosphate (fTCP) produces stronger, more acid-resistant mineral relative to fluoride, native β-TCP, or fTCP alone. In contrast to other calcium-based approaches that seem to rely on high levels of calcium and phosphate to drive remineralization, fTCP is a low-dose system designed to fit within existing topical fluoride preparations. The functionalization of β-TCP with organic and/or inorganic molecules provides a barrier that prevents premature fluoride-calcium interactions and aids in mineralization when applied via common preparations and procedures. While additional clinical studies are warranted, supplementing with fTCP to enhance fluoride-based nucleation activity, with subsequent remineralization driven by dietary and salivary calcium and phosphate, appears to be a promising approach.


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Robert L. Karlinsey, PhD

Dr. Robert L. Karlinsey earned a BS in Physics and PhD in Chemical Physics, holds several patents, and has published in multiple fields including dentistry, chemistry, and materials science. His lifelong struggles with his own dental decay ultimately inspired him to investigate the remineralization of teeth.