For most of us, the thought of facing our dentist’s drill is often unsettling. When you think about the needles, the floppy lips, the pain and the embarrassment of having to deal with the drooling saliva from your mouth, going for a cavity repair can become an activity you wish you didn’t have to go through. A new discovery promises to change all this.
A new discovery at the University of Leeds in Britain promises to eliminate the need to use dental drills. Doctors at the university have found a way to help teeth undo decomposition and reconstruct themselves. This breakthrough has the potential to reduce your dental bills by thousands of dollars in addition to helping you avoid the pain that dental drills are known for.
Consider the following…
Around 20 minutes after you eat, the bacteria present inside your mouth starts to amalgamate with saliva and food particles forming plaque deposits that settle on the teeth.
In addition, the bacteria convert starches and sugars present in the food you ate to acid. This acid acts on your teeth’s micro-pores. Micro-pores are tiny holes found in the teeth. Over time, the pores will be eaten away and enlarged by the acid. Finally, a cavity is formed.
When you find yourself with a fractured tooth or a cavity, you will typically contact your dentist and ask him about a filling, a root canal, a crown or in other instances you may need an extraction. Whichever procedure your dentist will recommend to you; the truth is it definitely will be some degree of pain.
The new discovery revolves around ‘training’ the teeth to reconstruct the enamel. The University of Leeds researchers discovered that it is possible to train the teeth to recreate healthy enamel if the rebuilding process is triggered to begin when the cavities have not enlarged beyond the dimensions of a micro-pore.
The secret to this is a peptide. A peptide is a microscopic molecule whose structure looks like that of a protein. The structure of a peptide is, however, typically simpler. You can think of peptides as mini-proteins.
The researchers at Leeds found a unique peptide that can amass itself to make fibers. This peptide is called P11-4. The doctors have now created a fluid that has the ability to trigger the peptide to assemble itself to make fibers. The fluid needs to be ‘painted’ onto the surface of a tooth to start this process.
This ‘magic fluid’ creates a gel when it mixes with saliva. This gel contains these unique peptide fibers responsible for building some kind of scaffolding within a tooth’s micro-pores.
It gets more fascinating! Calcium is the main constituent of tooth enamel. P11-4 attracts calcium, which accumulates on the scaffolding within the tooth’s micro-pores. As a result, the tooth literally reconstructs itself.
The great news is that the researchers have already tested their discovery on humans. It is no longer only in theory. The team has tested P11-4 by painting it on a human’s teeth that were in the initial stages of decay. What they found was that the ‘scaffolding’ started forming inside the teeth’s micro-pores. As a result, the teeth effectively overturned the effects of tooth decay.
There was no needle used, no need for any drilling and absolutely no pain. Better still, being able to avoid a filling will essentially make sure you won’t have to deal with the discomfort that typically accompanies these fillings later on.
Keep in mind that plaque usually amasses alongside the fillings’ edges. With this method, therefore, you can avoid future damage to your teeth in addition to repairing the damage that has already been done.
What's more, teeth that have been filled are usually weaker compared to healthy teeth. That is why there are many cases of teeth that have been filled cracking after a number of years. When this happens, it necessitates getting a root canal or a crown. Either of these will mean increased discomfort and undesirable expenses. It is not uncommon to spend over $1,000 getting a crown.
Very soon, this new cavity repair will be available at East Lake Advancing Dentistry. Already, a Swiss corporation has licensed the P11-4. The company is now in the initial stages of running larger trials. So, don’t be surprised when you visit our offices at 20397 Yorba Linda, Blvd to find that there are no more dental drills.
If you have any questions, or if you'd like to schedule an appointment, please give us a call at (714) 779-2736.
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