According to a recent article in Popular Science, researchers have developed synthetic fillings that activate stem cells in order to regrow teeth.
As many of our Denticon users can attest, cavities are typically treated by drilling out any decay and inserting a filling. But the materials used in fillings can be toxic to cells and may cause dental pulp disease, which in turn creates the need for a root canal.
Researchers from the University of Nottingham and Harvard University have designed a synthetic biomaterial that may someday serve as an alternative to fillings. This experimental regenerative material stimulates stem cells to rebuild the tooth itself. Without failed fillings, root canals may go the way of the dodo.
The potential implications for dentistry are huge: according to Popular Science, hundreds of millions of cavities are treated each year, but 10-15% of fillings fail, leading to millions of root canals. Those final procedures may no longer be necessary if this new process proves viable.
Scientists are now working to make this technology readily available as an alternative form of cavity treatment. To read more about the research behind this potential breakthrough, click HERE.