An alternative to dentine restoration was proposed in a Scientific Reports paper by scientists at King’s College London earlier in the month. A study found that Tideglusib, a drug currently undergoing testing in Alzheimer’s patients, stimulated the stem cells in the teeth to the point where dentine restoration was possible.
In the study, scientists also found that soaking a small biodegradable sponge with Tideglusib and inserting it into the damaged tooth area will allow for the growth of new dentine, with the restorative process taking only about 6 weeks. Moreover, these sponges are composed of collagen so that they will disappear over time, leaving only the repaired tooth intact.
Our current method for treating cavities relies on man-made fillings, such as using calcium or silicon aggregates to fill up holes in damaged teeth, and is not a completely efficient treatment. With further research on Tideglusib, perhaps fillings will become obsolete in the future.