Bringing Teeth Back to Life

This post may sound a bit futuristic, but it is just one of the many ways nanotechnology can play a great role in impacting our lives. A study appearing in ACS Nano, describes a nano sized dental firm which could be used for bringing a diseased tooth back to life instead of leaving the tooth dead via a root canal.

Nadia Benkirane-Jessel and colleagues state in the report that root canal procedures help prevent tooth loss in millions of people each year. During  a root canal a dentist removes the painful, inflamed pulp, the soft tissue inside the diseased or injured tooth that contains nerves and blood vessels. An area called regenerative endodontics in which the development and delivery of tissues to replace diseased or damaged dental pulp could become the future.

The researchers have developed a multilayered, nano-sized film which contains a substance called alpha melanocyte stimulating hormone that could help regenerate dental pulp. The substance has anti-inflammatory properties and in the lab has been shown to fight  inflammation in dental pulp fibroblasts. This has the consequences of being able to  help revitalize damaged teeth and reduce the need for a root canal procedure which surely would please many.

Source: Fioretti et al. Nanostructured Assemblies for Dental Application. ACS Nano, 2010; 4 (6): 3277

5 thoughts on “Bringing Teeth Back to Life”

  1. This could be an interesting solution. I know several people who would be really happy if the research results in the elimination of traditional root canals!

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