Cavities are the #1 source of oral pain, affecting roughly about 35% of the world’s population. And, as we know, procedures used to treat cavities and eroded enamel involve a lot of money, and drills.
But in a few years, all of this could change thanks to a researcher at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC. Janet Moradian-Oldak has found a way to get tooth enamel to regenerate.
Synthetic Tooth Enamel
Moradian-Oldak and her team have developed a string of amino acids that contained only the parts needed for enamel crystal creation. Over seven days, the shorter peptide grew synthetic aprismatic enamel that was two times harder than the softened control enamel.
The results of the study in a paper recently published in the journal ACS Omega.
The End of the Drill?
The new peptide that Moradian-Oldak created has a few benefits: It’s less expensive, and the path to getting this approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to be fairly straight forward. Moradian-Oldak’s goal is turn the peptide into a revolutionary gel that can be painted on eroded teeth, effectively replacing the lost enamel.
The work is still in its early days, and clinical trials are years away, but it’s still exciting, she said.
Certainly this is a huge push in minimally invasive field of dentistry — and something that will come as welcome news to patients who cringe when they hear a dental drill.