Your teeth are some of the strongest parts of your body. The act of eating and chewing your food takes an enormous amount of strength and puts a lot of stress on your teeth.
If you practice good oral health, you assist your teeth in their tasks. But even if you brush twice a day, floss at least once and come to see us for your regular dental exams you can still run into problems. You can still get decay and you can still get a cavity.
We typically treat these problems with fillings, crowns, veneers or implants. Keep in mind that aside from extraction the other options are the result of advances in dental technology. And now it looks like we may have yet another tool in our toolbox – tooth regeneration. Tooth regeneration will allow us to trigger your body to remineralize your teeth, which could fill in the cracks and fill the cavities.
How Would That Work? Dental pulp, a part of your tooth's structure is actually a stem cell. Stem cells are cells that can become any kind of cell you need. Dental stem cells, unbeknownst to you, silently generate new cells that help to repair tiny holes in your teeth. If the amount of decay or the break is too large, the dental pulp cannot generate enough dentin to completely repair the damage. This is the point at which we decide the best path to repairing your tooth. With this new technology, it could be the point at which we try the new technique.
The scientists working on this discovered that there are existing drugs, used for other conditions not dental related, that can kick start your tooth's stem cells into producing more dentin and repairing the tooth itself. They have tested it on lab animals, but must conduct human trials before it can be deemed safe and released to dentists.