According to Newsweek, scientists at Harvard University and the University of Nottingham have developed a new kind of filling - one that does a whole lot more than just plug up the hole in your tooth.
These new regenerative dental fillings actively encourage your body to repair and regenerated damaged teeth? How?
"The tooth filling works by stimulating stem cells to encourage the growth of dentin—the bony material that makes up the majority of the tooth—allowing patients to effectively regrow teeth that are damaged through dental disease.
"Dental fillings that regenerate teeth have been described as "a new paradigm for dental treatments," capable of ending the need for root canals.
"This is a significant step forward from current methods to treat cavities, which involve drilling out the decay and putting in a filling. When these fail, a root canal is needed to remove the pulp of the tooth and damage it even further.
"'Existing dental fillings are toxic to cells and are therefore incompatible with pulp tissue inside the tooth,' said Adam Celiz, a Marie Curie research fellow at the University of Nottingham. 'In cases of dental pulp disease and injury a root canal is typically performed to remove the infected tissues.'
"'We have designed synthetic biomaterials that can be used similarly to dental fillings but can be placed in direct contact with pulp tissue to stimulate the native stem cell population for repair and regeneration of pulp tissue and the surrounding dentin.'"
Over the next few years, these researchers (who received an award from the Royal Society of Chemistry for their work) are hoping to further develop this new technology and make it available to you at your dentist’s office.
Of course, promoting the natural healing of teeth is what we’re all about here at Epic Dental. While you wait for your dentist to offer these new regenerative fillings, you might as well do what you can now to get your teeth the protection from cavities they deserve!
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