Dental Implants have been used to correct missing or damaged teeth for quite some time. However, in the past, most dental implant procedures have relied on man-made materials to create the replacement teeth. New research may just change all that. Imagine if you could essentially grow your own teeth in as little as 9 weeks. Well, new studies are doing just that.
According to the Hearty Soul:
Researchers at the University of Nottingham and Harvard University have developed a new biomaterial that they say allows damaged pulp in the tooth to regenerate itself and form a protective layer of dentin. This is a major step forward for long-term fillings and helping the tooth prevent infections which could lead to a root canal.
A root canal is given when an injury or large cavity damages a tooth down to the core, causing infection or inflammation. The dentist numbs the tooth and drills into the infected area. They clean it from the inside then fill the canals with a permanent material known as gutta-percha before capping the crown of the tooth. It’s about as fun as it sounds.
Wow, imagine being able to grow your own teeth. Not only does that seem more realistic, the procedure seems pretty straight forward and the result is your own body tissues creating what you need. So how does this work? According to the Health is Wealth of Heart, it is pretty straight forward:
Dr Jeremy Mao, the Edward V. Zegarellu Professor of Dental Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, explains that a three-dimensional scaffold with growth factor has the potential to regenerate and regrow anatomically correct teeth within just nine weeks after the implantation.
The procedure was developed in the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Laboratory at the university. In the process, the body’s own stem cells go toward the scaffold, which consists of completely natural materials. Once the scaffold is colonized with stem cells, the tooth starts growing in the socket, and later merges with the surrounding tissue.
In this way teeth do not grow in a Petri dish, and anatomically correct teeth regenerate by using the body’s own material. This dental treatment offers a faster recovery time and, unlike implantation, a completely natural regrowth process.
While this seems pretty cool, it is not always well received by the general populous. Some do not believe in stem cell manipulation. However, it is believed that this can be a very effective and efficient way of regenerating teeth in the future. This treatment is not currently available but we do think it is something to watch in the future.
Traditional methods of using dental implants for tooth replacement or repair are still your best option. Learn more about it here.