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Revolutionary Dental Treatment Uses An Alzheimer’s Drug To Repair Teeth Naturally

Update Date: Jan 11, 2017 08:50 AM EST
Revolutionary Dental Treatment Uses Alzheimer's Drug To Repair Teeth Naturally
Scientists have discovered that the use of an Alzheimer's drug could stimulate natural tooth repair. (Photo : Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Most people have this irrational fear of going to dental clinics or dentists themselves. This could be the nightmare inducing cost of dental services or most likely the pain experienced during dental treatments. Now, researchers have developed a revolutionary dental treatment that uses an Alzheimer's drug to repair teeth naturally.

Dentine is a vital tooth mineral that is produced by specialized cells called odontoblasts. When a tooth gets infected, particularly the inner soft pulp of the tooth, dentine is naturally produced by the tooth to seal and repair the tooth pulp.

However, the amount of dentine needed to repair the tooth, especially in large cavities, is insufficient. In order to repair the tooth, dentists would first treat the cavities and fill up the hole with cement. But this cement fails to completely restore the natural mineral level of the tooth.

Scientists from the Dental Institute at King's College London were able to develop a novel, biodegradable treatment that stimulates the natural repair of the teeth. The approach stimulates the stem cells in the pulp of the tooth to produce new dentine to fill in the large cavities. This then reduces the need to fill the hopes of the tooth with non-biodegradable fillings or cement.

This revolutionary dental treatment also lessens the chances of the tooth getting infected again thus the need to redo treatments. The treatment is the simplest and most natural solution to tooth cavities.

There are two key factors for this revolutionary dental treatment. The first key factor is the use of the drug Tideglusib. Tideglusib is a drug used to treat neurological disorders like Alzheimer's disease. The drug stimulates the renewal of the stem cells contained in the pulp of the tooth. Only low doses of the drug, particularly the small molecule glycogen synthase kinase (GSK-3) is used in the treatment.

The second key factor for the dental treatment is the use of biodegradable collagen sponges. The drug is applied to the collagen sponges which are then inserted into the tooth. Over time, the sponges degrade and the new dentine replaces it thus starting the complete and natural repair of the tooth.

Both Tideglusib drug and biodegradable collagen sponges are already clinically proven. The biodegradable collagen sponges are even available commercially. So not only is the treatment revolutionary, with the use of these materials, could be quickly made available to dental clinics everywhere.

"The simplicity of our approach makes it ideal as a clinical dental product for the natural treatment of large cavities, by providing both pulp protection and restoring dentine", adds Professor Paul Sharpe, lead author of the study published in Scientific Reports.

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