Friday, July 06, 2007

Tiny gadget that helps you grow new teeth

Teeth broken in an accident could soon be 'regrown' using an ultrasound machine half the size of a thumbnail. The process could take just 12 weeks.

Ultrasound is already used to help heal broken bones, now the technology is being applied to teeth.

Nanotechnology, which can reduce electronic circuitry to one thousandth of the size of a human hair, has enabled scientists to develop an ultrasound device small enough to fit inside the mouth.

Until recently the size of ultrasound machines would have made the use of the technique impractical for teeth. Now a wafer-thin ultrasound chip, which is pre-programmed so that it turns on automatically, can be clipped onto the teeth. When it is on, ultrasound waves massage the gums to stimulate and increase blood flow to produce new tooth tissue.

The treatment takes just 20 minutes a day. And, unlike with conventional machines, the patient can have the treatment wherever it suits them. They also feel no sensation as the device works.

Brushing teeth

Theoretically, patients who have lost several teeth could have them re-grown at once


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