Are fillings soon to be a thing of the past?
Dental fillings may soon be a thing of the past thanks to a recent discovery in a drug called Tideglusib. Developed for and trialled to treat Alzheimer’s disease, researchers at King’s College London found that the drug stimulated stem cells contained in the pulp of teeth so that they generated new dentine – the mineralised material under the enamel.
In the research, biodegradable sponges made of collagen soaked in Tideglusib were inserted into cavities. The sponges triggered dentine growth and within six weeks, the damage was repaired. The collagen structure of the sponges melted away, leaving only the intact tooth.
Thus far, the procedure has only been used in mouse teeth. Yet as King’s College London Dental Institute Professor and lead author Paul Sharpe told The Telegraph, “Using a drug that has already been tested in clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease provides a real opportunity to get this dental treatment quickly into clinics.”
He added, “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.”