For those who end up losing a tooth or multiple teeth during their lifetimes, there is a reason to smile. That is right. Scientists can help the body grow a new tooth in about two months. Gone will be the days of dentures and painful tooth implants. As of now, the only options for a missing tooth include implants, or if all teeth are missing, dentures.
Colorful fish found in Lake Malawi Africa may hold the secret to growing lost teeth. Researchers looked at the lakes cichlid fishes who lose teeth just to have a new one slide into place. Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, their study identifies the genes responsible for growing new teeth and may lead to the secret to “tooth regeneration” in humans.
The new material developed by scientists can be inserted into teeth to repair and regenerate dentin, the hard, bone like tissue that makes up the bulk of all teeth.
Just like regular fillings, which are inserted into a tooth to block off spaces where bacteria could colonise, the new material is injected into the tooth and hardened with UV light. But once inside the pulp of the tooth, it actually encourages stem cells to proliferate and grow into dentin.