Regeneration of Tooth Enamel: Cavities Healed in Mice

Dental researchers are forging ahead with their branch of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. It hasn't been long since engineered growth in situ of replacement teeth was demonstrated in rats, and now a research group has shown they can regenerate tooth enamel in mice, thereby healing cavities:

A new peptide, embedded in a soft gel or a thin, flexible film and placed next to a cavity, encourages cells inside teeth to regenerate in about a month ... The gel or thin film contains a peptide known as MSH, or melanocyte-stimulating hormone. Previous experiments [showed] that MSH encourages bone regeneration. Bone and teeth are fairly similar, so the French scientists reasoned that if the MSH were applied to teeth, it should help healing as well. To test their theory, the French scientists applied either a film or gel, both of which contained MSH, to cavity-filled mice teeth. After about one month, the cavities had disappeared.

You can also take a look at the research paper if interested, though it's fairly dense. It is an excellent example of what can be achieved where materials science meets biotechnology and the life sciences, and overall a very encouraging proof of concept. It is reasonable to expect, based on the progress of the past few years, that by the time those of us in middle age now begin to experience serious issues of wear and breakage with our dentistry, the technology to regenerate and regrow teeth will be well developed and widely available.

ResearchBlogging.orgFioretti, F., Mendoza-Palomares, C., Helms, M., Al Alam, D., Richert, L., Arntz, Y., Rinckenbach, S., Garnier, F., Haïkel, Y., Gangloff, S., & Benkirane-Jessel, N. (2010). Nanostructured Assemblies for Dental Application ACS Nano, 4 (6), 3277-3287 DOI: 10.1021/nn100713m


well when are they going to bring it out, so much for this and that. what i want to know is when can i have some.

Posted by: luke at July 30th, 2010 10:14 AM

i would like to know whe ni'll be able to use this technology?

Posted by: peter thomas at July 31st, 2010 6:01 AM

Hats Off!!! This is excitingly good news. And, this is also evidence that when we think we know it all, we still have a lot more to learn.

How many of us hate the dentist drill, the fillings, the freezing, and the enormous cost.

I have already shared this with a number of people.

Thank You..

Posted by: Annette at September 13th, 2010 3:18 PM

When this process is tried in humans, I would like to be considered.
When do we move forward? Please advise.

Thank you. Sincerely

Posted by: Tamara Destree at June 20th, 2011 3:45 AM

I have 8 veneer on my front teeth. My teeth has been chipped surface off by dentist
And the result is not comfortable and I don't like veneer. Can this regenerate enamel technology regenerate my tooth
enamel that has been chipped surface by dentist? And how long would it take to regrow? And how do they would do it? Thanks.

Posted by: Tim at July 19th, 2011 10:32 AM

@Tim: Not until it's available in the clinic, and that remains some years away, I would imagine.

Posted by: Reason at July 19th, 2011 4:54 PM

This is just a bunch of crap to get funding from the public so "researchers" can live off the public and won't have to go to work. Where is something that WORKS RIGHT NOW and not some fairy tale? Show me a real product that is available NOW and put a price on it and I will buy it if I can afford it. You guys are just a bunch of goof-offs who don't want to go to work and want to live off the rest of us!!!

Posted by: Bob Giere at January 11th, 2012 5:16 AM
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