Enamel is a strong natural coating, in fact it is the hardest tissue in the human body. Previously all attempts to reproduce this outer protective coating of our teeth have proved unsuccessful. But now scientists in China claim they have discovered a way to regrow tooth enamel.
Unlike skin or nails, tooth enamel is unable to repair itself when it’s damaged. Once problems occur with enamel, cavities usually follow. Until now treatment consisted of repair by filling or worse.. tooth extraction!
Scientists at Zhejiang University School of Medicine, in Hangzhou China, mixed Calcium and Phosphate with the chemical Triethylamine in an alchohol solution and discovered that this caused the enamel to grow with the same structure as that of teeth.
It is reported that in human teeth this method repairs the enamel layer to approximately 2.7 micrometres, achieving the same structure and orientation as natural enamel within 2 days.
The team at Zhejiang University claim promising results. The layer newly regrown by mineralisation can be integrated into the natural enamel creating a permanent repair, preventing future erosion.
Once fully developed, tested and thoroughly proven, the process has the potential to lead to an entirely new dental treatment. It looks like the end of dental fillings could finally be in sight, in the years ahead.