Scientists have discovered and successfully recreated a method that promotes self-regeneration in damaged teeth leading to "complete, effective natural repair." Researchers focused particularly on deep caries lesions, or cavities, which is the second most prevalent disease in the United States (behind the common cold). This is great news for the average American, for whom dental cavities are a universal problem. Over 90 percent of us will get them at some point. Typically, it is difficult to reverse the damage done by tooth decay. Patients must instead rely on a variety of fillings or cements based on inorganic mineral aggregates to fill the holes left by decay.
Filling the gap
Traditional fillings, however, present a few problems. First, depending on the materials chosen, fillings can look unnatural and reduce the overall esthetics of a patient’s teeth. They can also interfere with a patient’s bite, causing discomfort and even pain. Finally, fillings are prone to normal wear and tear, including fractures and other damage. If the seal between a filling and the pulp is broken, the tooth could suffer further damage as bacteria infects the now exposed inner tooth. Regenerative repair by the tooth itself could solve many of these issues and replace traditional fillings in the near future.
How does it work?
Dentine is a vital tooth mineral produced by odontoblast cells within a tooth’s pulp. When the pulp is exposed, living stem cells mobilize and become special odontoblasts that secrete a form of reparative dentine. The problem is that the dentine created is only enough to seal off and enclose the pulp, but not enough to completely fill the dental cavity. However, by soaking a biodegradable sponge with a drug called tideglusib and placing it into the cavity, researchers were able to coax the stem cells to produce much more dentine - enough to completely regenerate the damage. In other words, they supercharged the natural process of dentine secretion with the drug while providing a structure for the dentine to latch onto with the sponge. Once the biodegradable sponge dissolves, all that is left behind is the dentine structure and a brand new, naturally regenerated tooth.
This treatment is not yet available but is in the clinical trial stage. Since it uses a drug already in use for Alzheimer's disease, it is believed it can be fast-tracked to be used as a natural treatment of cavities.
In the meantime, there are many cutting edge treatments and procedures already available for the care and maintenance of your teeth. I recommend you see your Prosthodontist or better yet click the button below to request an appointment with me at ArtLab Dentistry or call my office at 818-465-5041.