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Connect Online News and views 2016 Fillings that heal your teeth

Fillings that heal your teeth

A trip to the dentist for a filling is something few of us look forward to. Now, a Nottingham team have developed regenerative dental fillings that could help millions of patients each year. 

Recently awarded a Royal Society of Chemistry prize, our researchers and the Wyss Institute at Harvard University have developed therapeutic synthetic, light-curable biomaterials for dental treatments that support native dental stem cells inside teeth to repair and regenerate dentin.

This innovative technology has the potential to heal teeth when they are injured by disease or surgery, making future fillings so much more than just a fix.

An innovative solution

Existing dental fillings are toxic to cells and are therefore incompatible with pulp tissue inside the tooth. In cases of dental pulp disease and injury a root canal is typically performed to remove the infected tissues. 


Tooth extraction 

Dr Adam Celiz, Marie Curie Research Fellow at The University of Nottingham, said: “We have designed synthetic biomaterials that can be used similarly to dental fillings but can be placed in direct contact with pulp tissue to stimulate the native stem cell population for repair and regeneration of pulp tissue and the surrounding dentin."

Our approach has great promise to impact the dental field and this prize provides a great platform to develop this technology further with industrial partners.

The research won second prize in the materials category of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Emerging Technologies Competition 2016, which has proved highly successful in accelerating the commercialisation of the cutting-edge research taking place in both universities and small companies.