It seems that in the very near future our teeth will no longer need fillings, they will be able to regenerate themselves with the help of using a low-intensity laser therapy.
The authors of this technique are of the opinion that their method has a huge potential, as it can be used not only in dentistry, but in the entire field of regenerative medicine.
American researchers have used low-intensity laser beams to stimulate dental stem cells to form dentine, that hard, bone-like tissue that is most apparently made up of a tooth. The study was conducted in mice, but also included laboratory tests on human cells.
Scientists have not regenerated an entire tooth, as the regeneration of tooth enamel is a complicated operation. But obtaining dentine already contributes to the removal of the need to perform a canal filling, the painful intervention that consists in removing the nerve and bacteria from a tooth.
The study was led by Praveen Arany of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, a division of the National Institutes of Health in the United States.
Using current methods of cell regeneration, researchers extract strain cells from the body, cultivate them in the laboratory and then reintroduce them into the body. This new technique simply stimulates the entry into action of strain cells that already exist in the patient’s body.
Scientists have long noted that low-intensity laser therapy can stimulate several biological processes, such as skin rejuvenation and hair growth.
The coordinator of the study insists on the correct dosing of the intensity of the laser beams: “If the intensity is too low, the treatment does not give results. If it is too big, then it can cause damage.” Laser rays of high intensity are used to cut various objects and to cauterize.
American scientists have found that the exposure of teeth to low-intensity laser rays acts on some active chemicals, molecules containing oxygen, which activate a cellular protein involved in the functions of development, healing and immunization.
This protein targets the strain cells present in the dental pulp and forces them to turn into dentin. Stem cells are cells capable of transforming into various types of cells and tissues in the body.
American researchers believe that their method could be used to heal wounds, regenerate heart tissue, decrease inflammation and repair bone fractures.
The study was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.