Tooth Regeneration for Cavities may be An Alternative to Dental Fillings
The American Chemical Society Journal recently published the results of a study demonstrating a bio-gel capable of regenerating tooth structure that may be used to treat cavities, potentially eliminating the need for dental fillings in years to come. The study, led by Dr Nadia Benkirane-Jessel, a scientist at the Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale (INSERM) Faculty of Medicine of Strasbourg, France, involved testing the bio material on cell cultures and laboratory mice.
The idea behind the proposed gel therapy is to place the gel on the affected tooth and allow for healing to come from inside the tooth. It is suspected that early detection of cavities would be important to truly be beneficial for the recipient of the gel. The gel may not work well for certain cavities. The gel might be most beneficial for controlling the depth and severity of cavities. Interestingly enough, the scientists used the gel on the tooth cavities of mice to find that within a month, the cavities disappeared.
The scientists used a peptide, known as MSH (melanocyte-stimulating hormone) which is capable of regenerating bone, to derive a poly-l-glutamic acid (PGL) and alpha-MSH combination that created the gel. Then, they applied the gel on human dental pulp fibroblasts to find that human pulp fibroblast adhesion and cell proliferation occurred. Under a microscope, researchers could view increased thickness and roughness as well as the growth of cells on the surface of the samples.
Today, more than ever before, dentists advocate the early detection of cavities. It is highly advantageous to fill a cavity at the onset when it is very small. Filling early stage cavities eliminates the risk of more invasive dental treatments, such as large fillings, root canals or dental crowns, as well as, allows for the most healthy tooth structure to be preserved.