Ways To Repair Teeth NaturallyIn the recent years, scientists have been doing extensive researches into ways to repair teeth naturally. Researchers are looking for alternatives to metal fillings, dentures and dental implants. Over time, dentures erode the underlying bone, dental fillings need to be replaced and dental implants are likely to fall out after many years’ of use. The tooth being able to repair itself naturally or even regrow a new tooth, is a healthier and cheaper alternative for most people.
The following are some of the known researches conducted by scientists:
1) Crystal Implants
Crystals contain calcium are implanted into dental cavities. The decayed tooth will use the calcium to regenerate and heal itself. Once this experiment is successful, it looks to replace the traditional fillings used. Currently, the metal fillings used by dentists need to be replaced when they are worn out. This natural way to repair teeth is the permanent solution.
2) Helsinki Research
If vertebrates can replace their lost teeth, can we get mammals to do the same? Researchers from the University of Helsinki have shown that it is possible to induce continuous tooth regeneration in mammals. The Wnt signaling pathway is important for the development of embryo and is used for cell communication. By stimulating this signaling pathway in a mouse, the researchers have successfully enabled the mouse to developed a number of new teeth, complete with dentin, tooth enamel and roots. This research raise the hope of possible continuous tooth regeneration in humans.
3) Stem Cells
A number of scientists are finding ways to regrow teeth using stem cells. Researchers from the Tokyo University of Science reported that they have successfully grown a tooth bud from stem cells taken from mouse embryos. The tooth bud was then transplanted into the liver of an adult mouse, where the increased blood helped to further develop the tooth. Finally, the tooth is inserted into an empty tooth cavity of the mouse, in which it grew to its full size.
On the other hand, researchers at the Craniofacial Development at King’s College, London used stems from bone marrow to form teeth and then transplanted them into tooth cavities of mice. However, obtaining stem cells from human bone marrow is a painful process and the researchers are still looking for better accessible stem cells that are able to form teeth.
An article in the Journal of Dental Research described how researchers used enzymes to isolate immature tooth cells from pigs and then placed the cells inside rats to develop. Within thirty weeks, small tooth crowns complete with dentin and enamel were formed.
4) Low Intensity Pulsed Ultrasound (LIPUS) Technique
Ultrasound, the safe and less expensive form of diagnostic imaging widely used in the medical field. What a lot of people did not know is that the high intensity acoustic waves of ultrasound has healing effects. Ultrasound has been known to trigger the growth of stem cells. Stems cells will generate the grow of tissues. Dr. Tarek El-Bialy, an orthodontist from the University of Alberta’s dentistry faculty in a research using ultrasound to lengthen the lower jaws in rabbits. The experiment was successful and he also found that teeth has started to grow as well. He then progress to a study on human being to see if ultrasound could be used to stop damage to roots of teeth for those who wear braces. The result of this study showed that the tooth which was given a dosage of ultrasound daily was not damaged and it actually had more dental tissue then previously.
However, there was a problem with the fact that the ultrasound device was very big and in the experiment, the subject had to hold it in his mouth for 20 minutes daily. Together with a team from the engineering faculty, they design an ultrasound device that is tiny enough to sit inside a person’s mouth. This device called low intensity pulsed ultrasound, in short LIPUS is less than a centimeter long and is powered by a tiny battery. It can be used for various purposes. One idea to have the device embedded in bandages, to heal bones naturally.
Further research is being carried out on using LIPUS to regrow pulp and dentin at a faster rate for senior people. So far, Dr. El-Bialy has only been successful in the growth of the inner teeth but not the enamel. Further research is being carried out on the use of ultrasound to repair damaged or broken teeth.