Researchers Report Initial Success in Promising Approach to Prevent Tooth Decay
A team of researchers supported by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research report they have created a new smart anti-microbial treatment that can be chemically programmed in the laboratory to seek out and kill a specific cavity-causing species of bacteria, leaving the good bacteria untouched.
Akinso: (SFX: DENTAL DRILL) Don't you hate that sound? (SFX: DRILL FADES) Even though modern dentistry is far less-painful than it was in years gone by, having a cavity drilled and filled is never fun. But now we may be closer to a time where the dreaded dentist drill could become a thing of the past, thanks to a new treatment. A team of researchers supported by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research has created this new treatment that can be chemically programmed in the laboratory to seek out and kill a specific cavity-causing species of bacteria, leaving the good bacteria untouched. Dr. Wenyuan Shi, senior author of the study, believes preventing cavities could one day involve the dental equivalent of a military surgical strike.
Shi: In the bigger picture it's kind of what we call a disruptive technology; because this is really looking at the dentistry in total different angles. So instead of a traditional mechanical surgical approach and this particular technology open the door for medical approach and preventive approach and biological approach which really allow us to very effectively address the root of the problem which is the bacteria infection in the oral cavity.
Akinso: Dr. Shi said the treatment is already moved into human studies where it can be applied as part of a paste or mouthrinse. This is Wally Akinso at the National Institutes of Health Bethesda, Maryland.
About This Audio Report
Reporter: Wally Akinso
Sound Bite: Dr. Wenyuan Shi
Topic: Dental Health