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Nano-sized advance toward next big treatment era in dentistry

Date:
July 5, 2010
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
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. Researchers now describe a first-of-its-kind, nano-sized dental film that shows early promise for achieving this long-sought goal.

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, 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 blood vessels. 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 polymer produced a material that fights inflammation in dental pulp fibroblasts. Fibroblasts are the main type of cell found in dental pulp. 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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Fioretti et al. Nanostructured Assemblies for Dental Application. ACS Nano, 2010; 4 (6): 3277 DOI: 10.1021/nn100713m

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Nano-sized advance toward next big treatment era in dentistry." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100630132842.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2010, July 5). Nano-sized advance toward next big treatment era in dentistry. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100630132842.htm
American Chemical Society. "Nano-sized advance toward next big treatment era in dentistry." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100630132842.htm (accessed April 21, 2014).

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