Is there anything that stem cells can’t do? These wonder cells are capable of changing into whatever type of cells are needed in a given part of the body, and we’re now learning how to use them in dentistry to great effect. Scientists from the University of Nottingham and the Wyss Institute at Harvard University have created fillings that use the stem cells already found inside your teeth to repair tissue, possibly making root canals a thing of the past.
In a root canal, the pulp of the tooth is removed along with the nerve (which is why root canals are such a terrible time). With this developing treatment, the new type of filling would encourage regeneration of the tooth’s pulp and dentin, taking away the need for potentially painful root canals that also leave the tooth weakened and more susceptible to future issues.
It sounds like win-win to me. Less root canals, less unnatural fillings, and better, longer lasting teeth. And while these new fillings aren’t available for use yet, they’ve been designed as a practical and affordable treatment for mass use. The future of dentistry sounds a lot less like the whine of a high powered drill, which is always a good thing.