Japan’s Tooth Patch Could End Tooth Decay
If we can only coat our teeth with a film that’s resistant to bacteria, then tooth decays will become a thing of the past.
Scientists at Kinki University and Osaka Dental University have found the next possible step towards this dental fantasy.
The ultra-thin biocompatible film developed by a team of Japanese scientists, the first of its kind in the world, could be the end of cavities.
"Dentists used to think an all-apatite sheet was just a dream, but we are aiming to create artificial enamel, the outermost layer of a tooth,” said Shigeki Hontsu, professor at Kinki University's Faculty of Biology-Oriented Science & Technology in Japan.
This tooth patch is a hard-wearing material made from hydroxyapatite, the main mineral in tooth enamel. Recently, the researchers were able to find a way to make it flexible. This new radically elastic material can be wrapped around the teeth to prevent the growth of bacteria.
"This is the world's first flexible apatite sheet, which we hope to use to protect teeth or repair damaged enamel," said Shigeki Hontsu, professor at Kinki University's Faculty of Biology-Oriented Science & Technology in Japan.
"The moment you put it on a tooth surface, it becomes invisible. You can barely see it if you examine it under a light," Hontsu continues.
The tooth patch synthesized is currently transparent but it is possible to make it white particularly for cosmetic dentistry use.