High-tech fillings could actually repair your teeth

These award-winning new materials for dental fillings could help repair and regenerate parts of your damaged teeth.

Nic Healey Senior Editor / Australia
Nic Healey is a Senior Editor with CNET, based in the Australia office. His passions include bourbon, video games and boring strangers with photos of his cat.
Nic Healey
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A new synthetic biomaterial could change the way dentists treat cavities in the future. Developed by the University of Nottingham and the Wyss Institute at Harvard University, the new material actually stimulates the repair and regeneration of parts of your teeth.

As you probably know, teeth have an enamel layer on the outside. Below that is a tissue called dentin and below that is the delightfully named pulp where all the nerves and blood vessels live. The material currently used for fillings is incompatible with pulp, but the new biomaterials can actually stimulate the tooth stem cells. This means that you could essentially regrow pulp and dentin in a damaged tooth.

The research has picked up second prize in the materials category of the Royal Society of Chemistry's Emerging Technologies Competition 2016. But like all good scientific advances, it might be some time before this actually makes it to your local dentist's office, so don't start skimping on the brushing and flossing just yet.