The solution to reverse the effects of tooth decay may be on the way.
Scientists from the University of Maryland School of Dentistry have created a new cavity-filling system that enables tooth tissue to regrow, in addition to killing almost all of the residual bacteria.
The system includes a primer that is applied to the surface that is drilled out of the tooth. An adhesive is then put in place to enable the filling to bond to the tooth and the filling material. The combination of ammonium, silver nanoparticles and a high acidity—the substances that make up the material—serve to kill the bacteria.
The actual filling material contains calcium phosphate nanoparticles. This is what may enable the tooth to rebuild, although if nothing else, the drilled section can heal better with these nanoparticles.
This creation may not be perfect, however. Silver nanoparticles have a reputation for causing health problems like immune system deficiency issues.
The longevity of these fillings also isn’t known yet and will only be learned over time.
The primer, filling material and adhesive were tested on biofilms that were provided by people who volunteered to partake in this study. More trials will be conducted on the teeth of lab animals and other humans.