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The Whole Tooth: Scientists Create False Enamel, Kill Off Dentistry

The cruel reign of the dentist may soon be over, as researchers have managed to artificially grow tooth enamel. 

 

As your dentist will tell you (that chiseling bastard), once the enamel in your teeth erodes, it doesn’t grow back. However, the cruel reign of the dentist may end in our lifetime, as a team of scientists of China’s Zhejiang University and Jiujiang Research Institute have been able to regrow dental enamel.

Enamel is formed biologically, but it does not possess the ability to self-repair, hence why cavities crater our wallets.

 

 Electron microscope images of human tooth enamel that has been repaired for six, 12 and 48 hours. The blue area is the native enamel; the green is the repaired enamel
Electron microscope images of human tooth enamel that has been repaired for six, 12, and 48 hours. The blue area is the native enamel; the green is the repaired enamel. Photograph: Zhejiang University/Science Advances 

 

According to Intelligent Living, “Enamel is so complex that its structure has yet to be duplicated correctly artificially. Resins, ceramics and amalgam fillings can mend the problem but they are not a forever fix. The fact that they are made of foreign materials means they can’t achieve a permanent repair. The new gel made by the Chinese scientists is different because it is made of the same material as enamel. It is made by mixing calcium and phosphate ions – both minerals which are found in enamel – with the chemical called triethylamine in an alcohol solution.”

It’s worth noting that the researchers are a way off trialing the engineered enamel on humans, as the enamel we grow is 400 times thicker than what they’ve been able to grow so far in the lab.

Until then, we’ll have to endure the final throes of the common dentist.

 

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