Tertiary methacrylamide monomers for dental material applications

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Our new polymer for dental composite improves the quality of dental restorations without modifying clinical protocols of applying dental restoration materials.

Technology Summary

A light-cured polymer for dental resin composites for all types of restorations based on biocompatible tertiary methacrylamides. Can be combined with thiourethane oligomers to increase strength, biocompatibility and durability.

Value Proposition

Improved polymers to increase the lifetime of dental restorations without modifying clinical protocols of applying dental restoration materials. The addition of novel oligomers to these new polymer products would not change application protocols leading to acceptance by dental practices.

Executive Summary

Problem: Current dental resin composites last, on average, between 5-10 years due to fracture and degradation. Polymerization shrinkage and stress cause degradation at the tooth interface leading to restoration failure. To date, materials developed to reduce polymerization shrinkage and stress have proven inefficient at extending the life span of restorations. While most of the improvements in composites have come from altering the filler technology, recently new monomers have been developed to decrease polymerization shrinkage and its associated stress. However, most still rely on resin matrices with methacrylate chemistry.

Solution: Researchers at the OHSU School of Dentistry developed new polymers based on biocompatible tertiary methacrylamides instead of methacrylate chemistry and resin composites that reduce polymerization shrinkage by 10-20% and reduce polymerization stress by 50-75% as compared to current resin composites. In addition, the mechanical properties are significantly improved, allowing for more reliable dental composites. Advantages of the OHSU polymer include:

•       Light activated curing: already familiar to dentists without changing protocols;

•       Glass transition temperature similar to methacrylates;

•       Best hydrolytic stability;


Dental caries are a prevalent public health issue, especially evident in underserved populations in the U.S. Recurring decay and fracture cause hundreds of thousands of resin composite dental restorations to be replaced each year. The average life span of resin composite restorations is 7 years; factors that influence longevity include polymerization shrinkage, polymer stress, material degradation and material fracture.

Market Value

With 60-90% of school-aged children and the vast majority of adults being affected by dental caries, the dental repair and restoration industry is a fast growing market. Additionally, aging baby boomers with increased incomes can afford better and more esthetically pleasing dental choices. In 2011, the US dental market size was $164.5 million with a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 5.3% expected between 2011 and 2018. The dental repair and restorative market represents approximately 7% of the overall US dental market.


Jack L. Ferracane, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Restorative Dentistry.  Dr. Ferracane’s research focuses on new dental restorative materials and clinical performance.

Carmem S. Pfeifer, D.D.S., Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Division of Biomaterials and Biomechanics. Dr. Pfeifer’s research focuses on polymeric dental materials.

Wilbes Mbiya, Ph.D., Post-doctoral Researcher, Division of Biomaterials and Biomechanics. Dr. Mbiya’s research focuses on new dental materials.

Relevant Publications

Bacchi A., Consani R.L., Martim G.C., Pfeifer C.S. Thio-urethane oligomers improve the properties of light-cured resin cements. Dent Mater. 2015; 31(5): 565-574.



Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Cadence True
Technology Collaboration Manager
Oregon Health & Science University
Carmem Pfeifer
Jack Ferracane
Wilbes Mbiya
Dental - Coating & Composites
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