The American Chemical Society journal ACS Nano recently published an article on a new technique that could bring diseased teeth back to full health. Root canal therapy is a procedure used to remove the diseased soft tissue from inside a tooth, leaving a non-vital tooth in the mouth. This can help prevent tooth loss.
A team led by Dr. Nadia Benkirane-Jessel created a film that contains a pulp-regenerating substance, thus bringing root canal-treated teeth back to their previous state.
The study conducted used nano-films, which are only 1/50,000 the thickness of a human hair. They found that by using these films and introducing alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone to them, they could increase the number of dental pulp fibroblasts in laboratory settings. Dental pulp fibroblasts are the primary cell type found in dental pulp.
This is a significant finding, as it could help to improve the long-term success rate of root canal therapy. The current success rate for this type of treatment is only about 70%. With this new technique, that number could potentially increase to almost 100%.
The researchers suggest that their new findings could one day help revitalize damaged teeth. While the use of this type of treatment on actual dental patients is many years away, the implications are intriguing. This type of treatment could potentially save millions of teeth every year.
Prevention is Key
Since the technology is not yet ready to be implemented into dentistry today, it is important to focus on prevention. There are a few things you can do to help keep your teeth healthy and avoid the need for root canal therapy:
- Brush twice a day
- Floss daily
- Visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings
- Avoid sugary and acidic drinks
- Don’t smoke or use other tobacco products
While we wait for this new technology to be developed further, following these simple tips can help you keep your smile healthy and bright.
This recent finding in the field of dentistry is captivating, and it will be interesting to see how this new technique will evolve over time. While we all wait, it’s crucial to be mindful of proper at-home oral care (brushing and flossing) as well as regular cleanings with your dental hygienist. And x-rays–digital radiography is best to lower exposure to radiation–should be taken by your dentist on a routine basis in order to catch small problems before they turn into big ones that may require more serious procedures, like root canals. In other words, seeing your dentist regularly could wind up saving both your teeth and money down the line.