Combining teeth protection with advanced dentistry – Is the future here?

Japanese scientists are paving the way for futuristic teeth that are free from decay. They have developed a microscopic coating for teeth that prevents dental decay from deteriorating teeth – it may also make these teeth appear whiter!

Professor Shigeki Hontsu at Kinki University in western Japan says, “This is the world’s first flexible apatite sheet”

The microscopic coating is a film that covers the tooth. The film is made of a hardwearing and extremely flexible material called hydroxyapatite. This material also happens to be the major component of natural tooth enamel. There are also indications of this being a primary treatment for tooth sensitivity that has ailed many people.

The unique nature of this innovation means that teeth can be protected and even repaired where enamel has been damaged.

Safe teeth whitening from Perfect Smile 2017

Perfect Smile Studios hope to use this technology in the near future

Dr. Doshi, Clinical Director of The Perfect Smile Advanced Training Institute says, “The underlying philosophy of our practice is Prevention. This innovation is extremely important in helping patients prevent tooth decay and reduce sensitivity. However, what makes it so amazing is that its chemical structure is as near as tooth as we could have hoped for. I am very excited and I am sure that this technology will spur off many more ideas that can make our message of gaining oral health that much more realistic.”

The coating is a film of just 0.004 millimetres (0.00016 inches) thick created by use of laser technology and blocks of compressed hydroxyapatite. However, once placed on tooth surface, it becomes completely invisible. This is great news for those that require a barrier to oral bacterial damage but who also do not need restorative work.

Professor Shigeki Hontsu hopes for use of this material as part of contemporary dentistry also. Currently the film is completely transparent, however, it can be made whiter to give the impression of whiter teeth. Our dentists are very excited at this particular prospect of combining protection with aesthetic dentistry.

Despite the excitement, realistically the technology will not be available for practice use by our dentists at The Perfect Smile Studios until another 3-5 years. This is because the coating is still in the infancy stage and will need to be tested on living animals and/or humans. At the moment the researchers have a positive outlook from using extracted human teeth.

Other teeth coating options that patients are often given include:

  1. Fissure sealants. This is thin layer of composters resin packs on the fissures of back teeth to prevent decay. They are placed often when the teeth erupt and are often indicted for patients with high risk of decay. They are bonded in placed by etching the teeth, placing and light curing a binding resin and then applying the sealant. They need to be checked every 6 months to ensure the sealants remain intact and that decay has not started underneath.
  2. Fluoride. Application of fluoride either on toothpaste or preferably by an application via a tray can reduce decay. This is because fluoride treatment can affect the mineral quality of enamel. This will often cause the enamel to become more resistant to decay or may even reverse initial decay due to the remineralisation of enamel. Duraphat is one over the counter fluoride varnish that can be purchased.

In summary, there is new technology and old traditional methods that can be useful in preventing decay for patients.

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