New advances in dentistry may put an end to dental fillings
When you have a damaged tooth, you usually ask your dentist to take care of it and he/she will use a drill and a filling to patch it up. Most probably, you are not a big fan of that technique, but heres a good news for you: there might be some hope for an alternative, less invasive treatment. Recently, scientists have developed a new dental treatment which allows to repair a cavity without drilling or injections. This is a reconstruction technique that encourages the teeth to repair themselves.
Researchers at Harvard University found that exposing the cells on the inside of a tooth to weak laser light stimulates the growth of dentin, the substance that makes up much of a tooths structure.
They are using resident stem cells — they are adult cells already present in the tooth pulp, meaning that many of the challenges facing stem cell therapies arent there as there is no need for different stem cells.
So far, the experiments have been done in rats and mice but the researchers have tested the technique on human cells in culture, and it seems to work.
More good news seem to come from dental researchers at King’s College London, who developed a new device that aims to take the pain out of tooth decay treatment by electrically reversing the process to help teeth ‘remineralise’.
The approach is one that re-builds the tooth and heals it without the need for drills, needles or any artificial materials. By accelerating the natural process by which calcium and phosphate minerals re-enter the tooth to repair a defect, the device boosts the tooth’s natural repair process.
Dentistry has been trying to harness this process for the last few decades. Now, the technique, known as Electrically Accelerated and Enhanced Remineralisation (EAER), could be brought to market within three years....