Regenerative dental fillings that allow teeth to heal themselves have been developed by researchers, potentially eliminating the need for root canals.
The treatment, developed by scientists from the University of Nottingham and Harvard University, earned a prize from the Royal Society of Chemistry after judges described it as a “new paradigm for dental treatments.”
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.
Existing dental fillings are toxic to cells and are therefore incompatible with pulp tissue inside the tooth,” said Adam Celiz.
“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.”