You can picture it now. The sound of the dentist's drill, that high-pitched echo. Those vibrations rattling. Surely there's a better way? With all the advances in stem cell treatment, could we be nearer to growing the perfect tooth all over again?
New research from 2017 has shown that by activating stem cells known as "odontoblasts," new tooth has successful been laid down in mice. It means that in cases where decay hasn't yet reached the nerve, the tooth may indeed be able to "repair itself," with a little help from stem cell activation.
"Wonderful" I hear you say, "no more dental visits for fillings!" Hopefully in time this may be less and less, but don't get over excited just yet! The findings were in mice's teeth (tiny amounts of decay by comparison) and the dentist still needs to remove the decay to start with, before activating the stem cells. The hope is that the process, if done well the first time may minimise the need for filling replacements, as after all, it's your own tooth doing the "filling."
In the meantime, prevention is still better than cure, and with good brushing, flossing and fluoride you can remineralise or "re-harden" early decay and stop it from progressing. Your friendly Northbridge Dentists team is always on hand to help with this!
Image credit: Kings College/Scientific Reports