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Regenerative tooth fillings could put an end to root canals

They could heal your teeth when disease or surgery has taken its toll.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
July 3, 2016
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US Army Garrison Red Cloud, Flickr

You really don't want a root canal, and not just because it's potentially painful. Emptying the tooth of the infected tissue at its heart potentially weakens it, since you can't grow that organic material back or put toxic fillings in its place. Researchers may have a solution, though. They've crafted fillings that get the tooth's own stem cells to regenerate and repair tissue. This doesn't mean that your pearly whites would return to normal, but the substance could heal the tooth enough to spare you a root canal or prevent fillings from going south.

You're not going to have this option for a while, but it's designed to be practical. You can cure the filling with light, so your dentist wouldn't have to resort to exotic techniques to rescue your teeth. And importantly, it might be less expensive overall -- you might not need a cap or crown to reduce the chances that the tooth will break after the surgery.

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