New Dental Gel May Signal The End Of "Drill and Fill"
If a group of French scientists have their way, drilling and filling cavities will soon be a thing of the past. Researchers have developed a gel that contains hormones that typically come from the pituitary gland and are crucial in the form of melanin, which determines skin color. Why would a skin color hormone have anything to do with teeth or cavities, you ask? Other recent studies have shown potential for this hormone to play a role in bone regeneration as well. The materials that make up both teeth and bone are similar, so the researchers tested whether this gel mixture could stimulate tooth regeneration. Results from the study showed tooth regeneration within 4 weeks. The development of this gel combination could not only be the end of fillings, but drilling too. Because the gel would stimulate the growth of new tooth cells, people who deal with the pain of tooth decay rather than going under the drill would have a pain free option. The first study involved human dental pulp cells responsible for growing new tooth cells. Within 4 weeks, new cells were forming, and stronger than any filling ever would be. A second study was performed on mice with dental cavities. In the mice test, cavities were gone within 1 month also. Testing is still going on, but it is expected that this gel will be in wide use within 3-5 years.