Current treatment of early dental lesions is less than ideal because
a disproportionate amount of healthy tooth must be excavated to
allow fillings to stick. Japanese researchers have developed a possible tooth-sparing
alternative: a dental paste of synthetic tooth (Ha et al. Nature. 2005;433:819).
The paste contains modified hydroxyapatite, a material that is similar
to natural tooth enamel. The researchers said that the paste rapidly and seamlessly
repairs early caries lesions with minimal loss of the natural tooth and can
also help prevent future lesions by strengthening the natural enamel.
Stephenson J. Synthetic Tooth Enamel. JAMA. 2005;293(11):1316. doi:10.1001/jama.293.11.1316-d