Scientists Develop Material that Could Regenerate Dental Enamel

By: | June 3rd, 2018

Dental enamel generating material

Close-up of the enamel-like material. Image courtesy : Alvaro Mata

In a big scientific breakthrough, researchers at Queen Mary University of London have developed mineralized materials that could regenerate hard tissues, such as dental enamel and bone.

Tooth enamel forms a shell around the top of every tooth and is the hardest substance found in our bodies. It is even harder than bone. It can withstand decades of extreme temperatures and acidic foods and drinks.

Unlike other tissues of our body, enamel cannot regenerate once it is lost, leading to pain and tooth loss.

As per an estimate, around 50 percent of the world’s population is suffering from the problem of lost enamel.

The material developed by the scientists has properties like high stiffness, hardness, and acid resistance.  This innovative material could help in solving major dental problems like tooth sensitivity and could aid in the prevention and treatment of tooth decay.

Dr. Sherif Elsharkawy, a dentist and first author of the study from Queen Mary’s School of Engineering and Materials Science, said, “This is exciting because the simplicity and versatility of the mineralization platform opens up opportunities to treat and regenerate dental tissues. For example, we could develop acid resistant bandages that can infiltrate, mineralize, and shield exposed dentinal tubules of human teeth for the treatment of dentin hypersensitivity.”

Similarity of structure between dental enamel (top row) and the enamel-like material. Image courtesy : Alvaro Mata

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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