For people who aren’t keen on visiting the dentist, it seems there may be an alternative option… The developments over the last couple of years have left even some of the dentists truly astounded.
King’s College in London recently announced that they had created a self-healing filling, which would then lead to the end of the dreaded drill. The procedure is called Electrically Accelerated and Enhanced Remineralisation, a current is used to push calcium and phosphate into the damage tooth, which then encourages the area to self-heal. It is thought that this new technology may be ready in the next couple of years, replacing the usual method of drilling out the decay and then filling the hole with a mixture of metals.
There are a number of other advances in tooth care that are coming up in the next 10 years. The closest advances look into preventing tooth decay by using a paste that is applied to the teeth. Containing naturally occurring peptides, they form a gel that attracts the calcium from saliva. This calcium is then able to provide a protective layer.
A seaweed toothpaste is another innovation, this can cut through the bacteria that forms on the teeth. Used in a toothpaste or a mouthwash this enzyme called Bacillus Licheniformis, strips away the plaque that traditional toothpastes can’t get to.
Another advance takes a look at improving existing techniques. For example fillings can sometimes need to be replaced due to not all the damaged tooth and bacteria being able to be removed. Scientists have created an adhesive for fillings that contain antibacterial properties which would then keep the bacteria at bay.
Finally the ability to grow your own teeth is something else that King’s College London have been researching. Tooth implants don’t have a natural root structure that moves with the jaw, resulting in the bone around the implant becoming weak. Using the patients gum cells it is thought to be possible to grow a new tooth.