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Dental - Scientists Use Ultrasound To Regrow Teeth And Bone - A Broken Tooth Can Be Re-Grown In One Year

June 29th 2006

Scientists Use Ultrasound To Regrow Teeth And Bone - A Broken Tooth Can Be Re-Grown In One Year

Health

Researchers from the University of Alberta believe they have found a method of regrowing teeth and possibly bone that have been broken.  The scientists use a miniaturized low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) system-on-a-chip which offers a non-invasive and novel way to stimulate jaw growth and dental tissue healing.

Dr. Tarak El-Bialy from the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry and Dr. Jie Chen and Dr. Ying Tsui from the Faculty of Engineering developed a tiny wireless ultrasound transducer device that comfortably fits inside the patient’s mouth while packed in biocompatible materials.  The device is mounted on an orthodontic or “braces” bracket or even a plastic removable crown. The team also designed an energy sensor that will ensure the LIPUS power is reaching the target area of the teeth roots within the bone.

 

Dr. Chen says “It’s very exciting because we have shown the results and actually have something you can touch and feel that will impact the health of people in Canada and throughout the world.”  Chen works out of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the National Institute for Nanotechnology.

The technology has already been patented, and they hope they will have the system-on-a-chip finished to complete the miniaturized device by next year.  El-Bialy says “If the root is broken, it can now be fixed.  And because we can regrow the teeth root, a patient could have his own tooth rather than foreign objects in his mouth.”

 

The device is aimed at people experiencing dental root resorption, a common effect of mechanical or chemical injury to dental tissue caused by diseases and endocrine disturbances.  The market potential in the US alone is 1.4 million.   

The device was first tested on rabbits.  After positive results the scientists moved onto humans and found similar results. They have also shown that LIPUS can improve jaw growth in cases with hemifacial microsomia, a congenital syndrome where one side of the child’s jaw or face is underdeveloped compared to the other “normal” side.

 

Usually these patients undergo many surgeries to improve their facial appearance.  The work on human patients was presented at the World Federation of Orthodontics in Paris, September 2005.

So how long does it take?  El-Bialy says “After proving it worked, we looked at creating a smaller ultrasound carrier where we can take the patient out as a variable. Before this, a patient has to hold the ultrasound for 20 minutes a day for a year and that is a lot to ask.”  They hope a market-ready device is available within two years.

 
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Dan Wilson
Best Syndication

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Important:  The material on Best Syndication is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. You should promptly seek professional medical care if you have any concern about your health, and you should always consult your physician before starting a fitness program.
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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                   Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:51 PM