Scientists Demo Tooth-Rebuilding Drug to End Misery of Fillings

By Gary Cutlack on at

Ending the "misery of fillings" is a perennial medical thing that is promised but never happens, but... some people think it might be about to happen for real this time, thanks to miniature sponges and dentine.

The team from King's College London say they have successfully fixed holes in the teeth of mice using the process, which sees tiny, biodegradable sponges inserted into holes in the teeth, sponges that are then pumped full of the drug Tideglusib and sealed. The drug then stimulates the cells within the dental pulp, which go into overdrive with their production of dentine.

Dentine is usually produced in small quantities by the teeth, but this forced mass production encourages the cells to produce enough dentine to effectively plug holes.

Professor Paul Sharp from King's College seems to think this is well on the way to becoming a readily available solution that the dentally challenged can have if they pay a bit more, telling the BBC: "I don't think it's massively long term, it's quite low-hanging fruit in regenerative medicine and hopeful in a three-to-five year period this would be commercially available." [BBC]


Want more updates from Gizmodo UK? Make sure to check out our @GizmodoUK Twitter feed, and our Facebook page.