The pioneering treatment reverses the damage from acid attack on the teeth and rebuilds them as new.
Teeth rot when acid, produced by bacteria in plaque, dissolves the mineral in the teeth.
It initially causes tiny microscopic holes which eventually expand to the point where the tooth has to be drilled and filled to prevent toothache.
The new treatment, developed at the University of Leeds, will allow dentists to paint a peptide based fluid onto the surface of the teeth.
The fluid is based on knowledge of how the tooth forms in the first place.
The liquid seeps into the holes and spontaneously forms a gel which in turn provides a “scaffold” attracting calcium.
This regenerates the tooth’s mineral from within giving a natural, pain free repair.
The technique has already been successfully tested on a small group of patients.
“This may sound too good to be true, but we are essentially helping acid-damaged teeth to regenerate themselves.
“ It is a totally natural non-surgical repair process and is entirely pain-free too,” said Professor Jennifer Kirkham, from the University of Leeds Dental Institute, who has led development of the new technique.
The technique was recently taken out of the laboratory and tested on a small group of adults whose dentist had spotted the initial signs of tooth decay.
The results from this small trial have shown that the liquid, known as P 11-4 , can indeed reverse the damage and regenerate the tooth tissue.
“The results of our tests so far are extremely promising,” said Professor Paul Brunton, who is overseeing the patient testing at the University of Leeds Dental Institute.
“If these results can be repeated on a larger patient group, then I have no doubt whatsoever that in two to three years time this technique will be available for dentists to use in their daily practice.”
“The main reason that people don’t go to the dentist regularly is fear. If we can offer a treatment that is completely non-invasive, that doesn’t involve a mechanical drill, then we can change that perceived link between dental treatment and pain.
“This really is more than filling without drilling, this is a novel approach that enables the patients to keep their natural teeth!”
The study is being funded by credentis ag who have licensed the technology and are preparing to introduce P11-4 to dentists worldwide.