Your quarterly or even yearly visit to the dentist may just be a thing of the past because a team of Chinese researchers may have come up with a gel that repairs damaged tooth enamel. To repair the reoccurring dental problem which is ‘damaged tooth enamel’ caused either by cavity, poor oral hygiene or unhealthy snacking, researchers from Zhejiang University School of Medicine have come up with a gel that lets the damaged tooth enamel to repair itself in 48 hours.
Created by mixing calcium and phosphate ions into an alcoholic solution with the organic compound trimethylamine, the gel when applied to damaged tooth helps create a new layer of enamel about 3 micrometers thick, just over the course of 48 hours.
“Our newly regenerated enamel has the same structure and similar mechanical properties as native enamel,” said Dr Zhaoming Liu, a co-author of the study which was published in the journal Science Advances.
“We hope to realize tooth enamel regrowth without using fillings which contain totally different materials and we hope, if all goes smoothly, to start trials in people within one to two years.”
What is even better is that the gel’s repair of tooth enamel “would be permanent”, according to the researchers, led by Professor Tang Ruikang at the university’s chemistry department.
Speaking on this new-found solution, Dr Sherif Elsharkawy, an expert in prosthodontics at King’s College London, told The Guardian UK,
“The method is simple, but it needs to be validated clinically,” he said.