Sucking the Ocean Through a Straw

Jul 12, 2010
Sucking the Ocean Through a Straw
Dentists may use a special nano-sized film in the future to bring diseased teeth back to life rather than remove them. Credit: iStock

(PhysOrg.com) -- Scientists are reporting an advance toward the next big treatment revolution in dentistry — the era in which root canal therapy brings diseased teeth back to life, rather than leaving a “non-vital” or dead tooth in the mouth. In a report in the monthly journal ACS Nano: “Nanostructured Assemblies for Dental Application,” they describe a first-of-its-kind, nano-sized dental film that shows early promise for achieving this long-sought goal.

Nadia Benkirane-Jessel and colleagues note that root canal procedures help prevent tooth loss in millions of people each year. During the procedure, a dentist removes the painful, inflamed pulp, the soft tissue inside the diseased or injured tooth that contains nerves and .

Regenerative endodontics, the development and delivery of tissues to replace diseased or damaged dental pulp, has the potential to provide a revolutionary alternative to pulp removal.

The scientists are reporting development of a multilayered, nano-sized film — only 1/50,000th the thickness of a human hair containing a substance that could help regenerate dental pulp. Previous studies show that the substance, called alpha melanocyte stimulating hormone, or alpha-MSH, has anti-inflammatory properties.

The scientists showed in laboratory tests alpha-MSH combined with a widely-used produced a material that fights inflammation in dental pulp fibroblasts. Fibroblasts are the main type of cell found in .

Nano-films containing alpha-MSH also increased the number of these cells. This could help revitalize damaged teeth and reduce the need for a root canal procedure, the scientists suggest.

Explore further: 'NanoSuit': Researchers use nano-coating to allow for electron microscopy of living insects

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Broke a tooth? Grow another!

Jan 13, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- To all those who have made deals with the tooth fairy in the past: you probably sold your teeth below their fair value.

Hybrid composite for root canal treatment

Nov 03, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- A dentist carrying out root canal treatment will need to use a variety of compounds. These do not always bond together properly and sometimes expensive follow-up treatment has to be performed. ...

Researchers use stem cells to regenerate parts of teeth

Dec 20, 2006

A multi-national research team headed by USC School of Dentistry researcher Songtao Shi, DDS, PhD, has successfully regenerated tooth ro ot and supporting periodontal ligaments to restore tooth function in a swine (an animal) ...

Recommended for you

Holes in valence bands of nanodiamonds discovered

Jan 28, 2015

Nanodiamonds are tiny crystals only a few nanometers in size. While they possess the crystalline structure of diamonds, their properties diverge considerably from those of their big brothers, because their ...

Engineering self-assembling amyloid fibers

Jan 26, 2015

Nature has many examples of self-assembly, and bioengineers are interested in copying or manipulating these systems to create useful new materials or devices. Amyloid proteins, for example, can self-assemble ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.