At Feldmanis Family Dentistry, we understand that some of our patients would rather do anything else than visit our Eugene family dentist office. One recent poll conducted by the American Dental Association actually found that many people would rather engage in a number of unpleasant tasks rather than visit the dentist, including waiting in line at the DMV, being stuck in traffic and even cleaning the bathroom.
Studies have shown that millions of people suffer from some degree of dental anxiety just in the U.S. alone. Two reasons commonly cited by patients when expressing their fear of the dentist is the unease that’s created by the sound of dental drills and the thought of needles. One of the most feared of all dental procedures, the root canal, features plenty of both. However, a new development may make the need for a root canal a thing of the past.
The development of regenerative dental fillings that allow teeth to heal themselves may potentially eliminate the need for root canals.
The new treatment method was developed by researchers from the University of Nottingham and Harvard University, and recently earned an award from the Royal Society of Chemistry after judges described it as a remarkable breakthrough for dental care.
When the root of a tooth has become damaged beyond repair by dental decay and disease, a root canal is required to save the tooth from further damage or the need to be potentially removed. During a root canal at our Eugene family dentist office, Dr. Feldmanis would remove the delicate interior of a tooth, known as the pulp, and fill the now vacant interior of the tooth to preserve its function and form.
With this new stem cell-based technology, the tooth filling would stimulate stem cells to encourage the regrowth of dentin, thereby allowing patients to effectively regrow their teeth damaged by dental decay.
This method of treating cavities marks a significant step forward from current methods of treating cavities which involve drilling our decay tooth structure and replacing the material with a filling.
Materials currently used in dental fillings possess no regenerative properties and often work against healthy cells that remain in a tooth after filling. Dental fillings are far more like filling a pothole rather than a form of restorative dental care as currently constructed.
However, with the synthetic biomaterials used in these new types of dental fillings can be directly put in contact with pulp tissue to stimulate the native stem cells into repairing and regenerating pulp tissue that surrounds the dentin.
Researchers are hoping that continued study on this new technique will one day soon offer dentists an alternative to traditional fillings and root canals. This would mean a future of far less drillings and far happier patients.