Tooth enamel is the strongest substance in our body, but once it has worn down, it will not grow back. Many damages are therefore filled with composite and other substances.
Scientists have now developed a new substance that can ensure that it can actually grow back.
New type of tooth enamel
Tooth decay is the most common dental problem in the UK. About 80 percent of all adults in our country have one or more cavities. These are now usually filled by dentists with composite or other metal alloys, but that is not ideal. “The often resin-based material cannot adhere well to the remaining enamel and is therefore released after approximately five years. The "layer" that we developed can in principle last for the rest of a lifetime, "says Zhajiang Liu researcher from Zhejiang University in China.
For the new enamel, microscopically small amounts of calcium phosphate are used in combination with other chemicals. When this mixture is applied to broken parts of tooth enamel, a wafer-thin new layer is created that is just as strong and durable as real enamel. In addition, it is cheap and offers a quick solution. "The glaze is repaired within 48 hours in most cases," says Liu.
Only small cavities
Although the first human trials were a success, the medicine will not be used directly by dentists. This is mainly because the microparticles of calcium phosphate that have now been tested are so small that they can only fill small cavities. Researcher Zhaoming Liu expects that this should not be a problem in the future. "It is certainly possible and we hope to test it on people within two years."
In addition, more studies must be carried out on people before the product can be definitively approved for use. "That could take a few years," says a British prosthetic professor in The Guardian. "But the new method certainly looks promising."