Synthetic Enamel Through Biomimetics

Synthetic Enamel Through Biomimetics

Researchers are working towards using synthetic enamel for use as a future alternative dental restorative material. Through stem cell biology we have the potential to regenerate not just enamel, but the entire tooth. Regeneration of an entire tooth is possible!

Biomimetics is the process of imitating biological processes. Through biomimetics it is possible to create synthetic enamel. This process is not yet perfected, but great progress is being made in reconstruction of this insulating tooth tissue.

MATURE ENAMEL

Synthetic Enamel Through Biomimetics 300x272 Synthetic Enamel Through Biomimetics

Mature enamel after the tooth has erupted into the mouth does not contain cells and does not remodel. It does not have the potential to regenerate. So this effort to replicate enamel is a huge step toward repairing areas of enamel that have been weakened and eroded due to decay or wear.
The structure of enamel at high magnification resembles a perfect pattern for knitting or crochet. Enamel is 2.5 millimeters (a millimeter is about the thickness of a dime)…it is mineralized….and translucent. Enamel is a natural bioceramic…hard yet resistant to fracture and wear. It has contradictory mechanical properties…flexibility and hardness.

THE DEVELOPMENT OF ENAMEL

Amelogenesis is the development of enamel. It begins in humans during the third trimester of pregnancy. Six months after birth the enamel is fully mineralized and the organic matrix is degraded and removed. Both decay (caries) and erosion are the result of enamel mineral loss due to an acidic environment in the mouth. Caries formation specifically involves the presence of bacteria.

SYNTHETIC ENAMEL

Researchers are working towards using synthetic enamel for use as a future alternative dental restorative material. Through stem cell biology we have the potential to regenerate not just enamel, but the entire tooth. Regeneration of an entire tooth is possible!

This advancement may lead to patients receiving a dental device (a night guard for example) that contains the appropriate organic and inorganic materials for release into the oral cavity that will help enamel toregrow overnight!

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