Chinese scientists at Zhejiang University School of Medicine have found a way to regrow enamel – a mineralized substance that protects the teeth – in a breakthrough achievement.
The discovery now means that you no longer have to go for temporary fillings which also deteriorate over time. The complex cellular structure makes it very difficult to reproduce the toughened tissue, however, the researchers have now developed a gel which helps enamel to repair itself.
Currently, resins and ceramics are being used as fillings for the deteriorated enamel. The gel is created from a mixture of calcium and phosphate ions in an alcoholic solution with trimethylamine.
According to the experiments performed on samples, the gel, when applied on damaged enamel, produces a new 3 micrometer thick layer of enamel in 48 hours.
The regenerated enamel has the same mechanical properties and structure, according to Dr. Zhaoming Liu, who co-authored the study published earlier this week in Science Advances.
The team plans on introducing clinical trials for the gel in the next one to two years after testing it on human teeth.
We hope to realise tooth enamel regrowth without using fillings which contain totally different materials and we hope, if all goes smoothly, to start trials in people within one to two years.
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