Rooting for innovation: Thai researchers unveil PRK, the tooth-ally awesome breakthrough

Photo Courtesy of Bangkok Post

In a significant advancement for dental healthcare in Thailand, local researchers successfully developed an artificial tooth root named PRK, which stands for Phraramkao in Thai or Rama IX in English. This innovation is expected to make dental implant services more accessible to the public by reducing the cost of implants by a factor of ten compared to similar quality imported products, according to the government.

The PRK artificial root is a collaborative effort between the Dental Innovation Foundation under Royal Patronage, Chulalongkorn University, Mahidol University, and Chiang Mai University, as stated by government spokesperson Rachada Dhnadirek. The name PRK was chosen in honour of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej The Great and his commitment to improving the dental and oral health of the Thai people, reported Bangkok Post.

Thailand now joins South Korea as one of only two countries in Asia capable of producing artificial roots locally that meet international standards. To date, over 100,000 artificial roots have been produced and implanted in approximately 50,000 patients under the universal healthcare programme and other initiatives. Dhnadirek said…

“We can produce about 100,000 of them a year.”

Under the National Health Security Office programme, patients requiring a dental implant can receive one at no cost. While the price of an imported artificial root ranges from 40,000 to 50,000 baht, a locally produced one costs only around 3,000 baht. Dhnadirek added…

“In the past, only those with a lot of money could afford dental implants.”

The increased accessibility to dental implant services is expected to improve people’s quality of life, as better dental and oral health enables them to eat more comfortably and maintain better overall health.

In related news, a Thai medical technologist is warning people not to whiten their teeth with nail polish.

A popular Facebook page, Doctor Lab Panda, warned against using nail polish to whiten teeth due to the dire health risks associated with it.

Medical technologist Pakphum Dejhassadin, who runs the page, cautioned the public against the practice. He said that some make-up artists still use nail polish to whiten teeth, particularly in beauty contests. He explained that nail polish contains many harmful substances, including carcinogens, and should never be put in the mouth. Read more about the story HERE.

Thailand News

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.