Dental technology is taking huge steps forward in many areas, with recent breakthroughs in laser treatment to regrow dental tissue being one of the most exciting developments in recent years.
Humans only have two sets of teeth in their lifetime, and any loss of adult teeth leaves a gap that has to be filled artificially. Using laser technology to regenerate dental damage could lead to a future where less invasive treatment is necessary.
In 2014, US scientists published their findings on using low-power laser technology to stimulate stem cell growth into forming dentine. The study was successful in rats, mice, and human stem cells, with dental damage showing signs of reversal after 12 weeks.
Laser treatment is not an unusual tool for dental practitioners, something which the researchers hope will mean there is a low barrier to uptake once the technology has been proven to work on humans. Researcher and Senior Author Professor David Mooney said: “Our treatment modality does not introduce anything new to the body, and lasers are routinely used in medicine and dentistry, so the barriers to clinical translation are low. It would be a substantial advance in the field if we can regenerate teeth rather than replace them.”
The research is ongoing, with Dr. Praveen Arany recently receiving the 2016 Dr. Horace Furumoto Innovations Young Investigator Award from the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery for his work in the research. Whilst laser treatment to regenerate dental damage may be a decade or so away, it’s still closer on the horizon than it ever has been.
Scientists Can Regrow Teeth With Lasers [via Business Insider]