Recently we wrote a blog post discussing the future possibility of “Electrically Accelerated and Enhanced Mineralisation” being used to activate mineral generation in teeth, reducing the need for fillings. The dental world is currently surrounded with new developments and research that could completely change the way dentists work in just ten years. Here are some of the most exciting…
Dentistry changing jawlines
As we discussed in a previous blog post, dentistry can have a significant effect on the shape of the face, re-aligning proportions and reversing the signs of ageing. However, the jaw is also very important for enabling implants to be anchored into the mouth. Currently, bone from elsewhere in the body can be used – but this can involve costly surgery. However, scientists have now devised a way of growing bone using chips of synthetic bone made out of materials such as calcium carbonate mixed with blood plasma. This forms a “scaffolding” for bone cells to grow into and build a new bone. After six month the jaw could be strong enough to hold any implant.
A condition called marginal leakage can mean that even when fillings have been performed to the highest professional standard, it’s impossible to remove every molecule of bacteria in the tooth. The bacteria can continue to feed off sugar and produce acid that causes further decay, which is why fillings have to be replaced every five or ten years. However, now dental researchers in Brazil have created a brand new filling adhesive that contains antibacterial elements, so that fillings may not have to be replaced in the future. Currently, composite fillings are the best way forward as they last many years, are strong and durable, and completely blend into the tooth.
Could teeth grow themselves?
Most implants do not have a tooth root, meaning that sometimes the bone around the implant can become damaged, weakening the implant. But with new developments in dental science at King’s College London, dentists may be able to grow new teeth and roots from gum cells. These stem cells have been successfully combined with mesenchyme cells – which are found in the pulp of all mammal teeth from mice to produce a hybrid human/mouse tooth with a root. If scientists can source a supply of human mesenchymal cells, then they can produce fully ‘human’ teeth to replace gaps. However, on the current market, Bicon Implants are a great choice as they replace the root of the tooth securely with a scientifically-proven design.
Brilliant braces work at speed
Orthodontics gets super high-tech with the vibrating gumshields that dentists in Israel have recently developed. This type of night brace works considerably faster than conventional braces. A silicone balloon rests against the teeth, gently moving teeth to line up with the gumshield that has been moulded to the desired shape. The balloon vibrates gently a few times each second to a frequency that stimulates the teeth to move but without waking the patient. This contraption could speed up the time a brace takes to work from 12-18 months to only three, a very exciting prospect for anyone with uneven teeth.
Lasers and torches to rebuild teeth
If you’ve got sensitive teeth, you’ll know how frustrating it can be when you’re enjoying a meal or a refreshing drink and your teeth just keep hurting. When enamel is worn down, dentine, the inner layer of the tooth, becomes exposed and can be painful whilst ingesting certain foods. This could soon no longer be an issue, as researchers are developing a paste substance that can be applied to the teeth to act as an alternative for enamel that cannot be replaced. The paste is acid-resistant and would prevent decay, and made from calcium phosphate, the same substance as enamel, before being set by a laser to bond to the teeth.
Whilst these developments still require significant research and testing before they will be made readily available, the prospects being opened up by dental science are magnificent, and we can’t wait to find out more!