The actual procedure is much kinder and gentler, too. The treatment is applied by way of small collagen sponges that are packed into the cavity or crack that needs mending. The biodegradable sponges contain the medicine that stimulates renewal of stem cells, and also provide the matrix for regrowing dentin. As the tooth fills itself in, the sponge simply dissolves away. No drills. No picks. No problem.
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Another upside of the procedure is that the medicine in question has already been used in clinical trials to treat neurological disorders including Alzheimer's disease. In terms of FDA regulation, that means the treatment is that much closer to finding its way into your dentist's office. The sponges are clinically approved, too.
"The simplicity of our approach makes it ideal as a clinical dental product for the natural treatment of large cavities," said lead author Paul Sharpe in press materials accompanying the research. "In addition, using a drug that has already been tested in clinical trials for Alzheimer's disease provides a real opportunity to get this dental treatment quickly into clinics."