Marshall's newest work, which has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Structural Biology, focuses on regrowing dentin in damaged teeth with the help of a calcium-containing solution of ions (electrically charged particles).
By putting a layer of the solution on individual test teeth, Marshall has already been able to remineralize some parts of the teeth. The challenge is to get the crystals to regrow throughout the dentin.
To heal properly, the crystals need to form from the bottom of the tooth up to the enamel. Marshall isn't sure whether that's happening yet, but she is confident that she'll find a way to restore dentin functionality over the next few years.
When this technology progresses to popular use, our grandchildren won’t believe our stories about the dentist’s drill! Link
(image credit: Hollingsworth/Corbis)