Invisible Tooth Patch: Key to Invincible Teeth?

By Lisa Franchi on September 20, 2012

Many people dream about having flawless teeth – white, sparkling, hard, and of course, free from decay. Well, this is no longer a dream, perhaps, as scientists in Japan have invented a microscopically thin film that can be coated to individual tooth and make it appear whiter and prevent decay.

Dental procedures have always been among the most expensive treatments available today. While there are sophisticated medical procedures to fix tooth decay, whiten teeth and correct oral deformities, there is no way to prevent tooth decay rather than regular tooth brushing and extraction.

Invisible patch against tooth decay

The “tooth patch”, according to the researchers is made from durable, ultra-flexible material which is made from hydroxyapatite – the main mineral found in tooth enamel. According to Shigeki Hontsu, professor at Kinki University’s Faculty of Biology-Oriented Science and Technology in western Japan, the patch is the world’s first flexible apatite sheet that can be used to protect the teeth and repair damaged enamel. Enamel is the outermost layer of the tooth which protects the teeth from cavity-causing plaque. And because of this, the researchers believe the patch can also relieve tooth sensitivity.

The patch is just 0.004 millimetres thick and can be attached by firing lasers at compressed blocks of hydroxyapatite in a vacuum.

The moment it is applied on the tooth, it becomes invisible, explained Prof Hontsu. To prevent bubbles from forming as the film is coated onto the teeth, there are a number of holes in the sheet that allow the liquid and air to escape. However, the scientists cautioned that the film takes almost a day to get fully attached to the teeth.

For their experiments, the researchers made use of disused human teeth but will be later on experimenting on animal teeth. They also said it could still take 5 more years before the patch can be used in actual dental clinics.


Source of this article:

Scientists promise end to sensitive teeth with film coating made from same material as tooth enamel, Daily Mail

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