If there is one thing that a cosmetic dentist often does for a patient, it is repairing tooth with filling. This era might have to end soon with the discovery of a special gel that will help the tooth enamel heal itself. The hard layer that protects the exterior of the tooth is called the enamel. This tends to worn down because of the acid in the mouth and the repetitive action of the mouth like chewing. These factors contribute to the development of cavities which needs to be repaired with fillings in order to stop the eventual decay of the tooth.
This solution is not a lifetime one because fillings will sooner or later separate from the tooth. The fillings used on human tooth can be made from different materials like resin, metal and porcelain – materials that are different from the composition of the tooth. This is why it will eventually loosen and separate from the surface of the tooth. When this happens, the tooth will have to be filled again.
A team of researchers from Zhejiang University based in China, led by Ruikang Tang, decided to solve the problem by developing a special gel made of phosphate and calcium. These are the minerals responsible for the real enamel of the tooth. The purpose of the gel is to promote self-repair of the tooth.
Testing was done to real human teeth that were pulled out due to acid damage. After applying the gel, the teeth are left inside a container full of fluid in order to mimic the environment inside the human mouth. It was left there for 48 hours where it encouraged the teeth to repair and grow new enamel. Through microscopic inspection, it was confirmed that the newly grown enamel has the same composition as regular enamel.
This breakthrough is good news for every cosmetic dentist because this is a more favorable option for patients instead of applying filling every few years. The special gel is still undergoing testing and needs more observation before it is confirmed to be a success in the field of dental technology.