A new peptide therapy could change the nature of emergency dentistry in the years to come, as it promises to replace the need for filling and drilling in order to treat cavities and root canal problems.
Reported in the journal ACS Nano, the technology consists of a peptide and a flexible film or soft gel into which it is embedded.
The peptide, named melanocyte-stimulating hormone or MSH, encourages cells inside the teeth to regenerate, helping to naturally heal any cavities.
As well as removing the need for artificial fillers, the therapy could have applications in other areas of the body, as teeth and bones are structurally similar.
The news follows a report from Asia One Health, which was told by endodontist Dr Seah Yang How of how emergency dentistry could help to prevent the progression of root canal damage.
Dr Yang How explained that much of the soreness associated with root canal damage arises from inflammation caused by delays in seeking treatment.