Researchers have been working on a new gel that they hope will rebuild tooth tissue and eliminate cavities without drilling. It’s been all over the news, and understandably so: an alternative to the dentist’s chair is often appealing. Despite the media attention, the solution may not live up to its reputation – at least not yet. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports:
“But the publicity that has followed has “missed the point,” according to Dr. David Pashley, a professor at the Medical College of Georgia.
“It blew it out of proportion and said it’s the biggest thing since fluoride. Not really,” Pashley told the AJC.
Pashley said what the scientists are doing — tissue engineering — will eventually work, but the process will take some time. He doesn’t expect any sort of whiz-bang replacement for traditional dental fillings for another five or 10 years.
In short, Pashley said there’s not an easy fix for cavities, which happen when bacteria invade a tooth’s enamel and dentin.”
Dentists won’t be eliminating the drill just yet. The study is still in progress, and people with tooth decay should not attempt to wait until some new treatment comes out.