Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

11 Nissan 5765 - April 20, 2005 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









Produced and housed by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Home and Family

Observations: Revolutionary New Toothpaste can Fill Cavities Without Drilling
By N. Katzin

A new invention by Japanese scientists might be a breakthrough in dentistry: a revolutionary toothpaste made of synthetic enamel that can be used to fill in cavities permanently without drilling. Researchers reporting on the development in Nature say the toothpaste also prevents additional cavities from forming.

The main advantage of the innovative development is not in sparing patients the trauma of drilling but in avoiding the damage done to the tooth as a result of the drilling. In order to fill a small cavity, generally the dentist must drill away a substantial amount of unaffected tooth enamel. Thus a patient who arrives at the dentist's office with a small cavity leaves with a large filling that really weakens the entire tooth.

Research teams around the world have been searching for ways to treat tooth decay without having to drill. Now a team of scientists from the Dental Institute of Tokyo has developed a special toothpaste made of hydroxyapatite, which has the same chemical composition as the mineral occurring naturally in tooth enamel. The researchers tested the paste on the front teeth of dentures that showed signs of caries (tooth decay). In the test, the synthetic enamel mixed in with the natural enamel, filled the cavities effectively and even helped prevent the development of further tooth decay.

According to Nature, Prof. Kazo Yamjishi, who headed the research team, said the synthetic substance they developed can be used to restore enamel without the need to prepare the area of the filling (i.e. by enlarging the cavity) and even helps prevent the spread of tooth decay by strengthening the tooth's natural enamel. However the toothpaste must not come into contact with the gums. If it does it could cause infection.

The researchers hope their invention will lead to the development of a toothpaste available to consumers that would fill small cavities liable to grow, eventually requiring root canal treatment.


All material on this site is copyrighted and its use is restricted.
Click here for conditions of use.