Scientists found a regenerative drug for the teeth, which will possibly reduce the need for artificial filling. This drug was used in Alzheimer’s trials and now it seems to improve the natural ability of the tooth to heal itself. It activates the stem cells in the pulp center of the tooth, prompting the area that is damaged to regenerate the dentin material.
According to P. Sharpe, this is an ideal clinical dental product for natural large cavities treatment by providing restoring dentine and pulp protection. Using a drug which has been used for Alzheimer’s clinical trials provides opportunities to get this remedy quickly in the clinics.
When the tooth is damaged by cavities or trauma, the center of the soft pulp can be exposed and increase a risk of infection.
The body creates thin layer of dentin for protection which helps block the outside materials to make way inside. But, this is not enough to protect the teeth from cavities which is why the dentist drill the cavity out and pack the area with artificial fillings. It worked in the past, but it is not ideal.
Sharpe says that the tooth isn’t a lump of material to replace a living tissue with inert cement. She adds that the fillings are good, but if the tooth cannot repair by itself, then it is a good idea.
His team discovered that they can use Tideglusib, a drug used for Alzheimer’s treatments to stimulate the tooth’s stem cells to create more dentin and regenerate the whole structure without fillings. They tried it on mice to see the stem cell activation. They used biodegradable collagen sponge which was soaked in molecules of Tideglusib and sealed everything inside. After few weeks, the sponge had degraded and the teeth regenerated dentin to fill the gap. B. Scheven says that dentistry isn’t just about drilling and filling, but keeping the teeth healthy.
But this method was so far used only on mice, so there is need for further research to confirm the results to be used in humans. This team planned to move to rats next and if it is positive, it can be tried on humans. The collagen sponges and the Tideglusib will speed up the process if the method does make it to testing of humans.
It was announced from an UK team that they are developing a pulp cap which can be inserted in tooth to trigger dentin growth by stimulating the stem cells. Another study in Australia discovered that the tooth decay can be reserved with a fluoride varnish (high concentration) before the formation of cavities and lower the amount of treatment which is needed to start with. There is still time until this method is available at our dentists, but the researchers are determined to make the oral care not that horrible which is great news to those who fear the drill.