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The dental fillings that last a lifetime

London - Tooth fillings supposed to last a lifetime have been invented by British scientists.

Hailed as a revolution in dental care, the compound not only blocks cavities but repairs bacterial damage. It releases minerals such as calcium and phosphate, which the tooth uses to form new minerals and repair itself.

File photo: It does away with the need for mercury fillings, banned in some countries because of toxicity. Credit: REUTERS

It does away with the need for mercury fillings, banned in some countries because of toxicity. Unlike existing fillings, the new compound has almost no risk of falling out.

Professor Robert Hill, who helped to develop the technology at Queen Mary University of London, said: “This will change dental practice, reducing the size of cavities, repairing decay and reducing the number of secondary cavities. These fillings should last a lifetime.”

The filling is made from bioactive glass composites that release fluoride as well as calcium and phosphate needed to form tooth mineral. It fills the gaps with minerals, preventing bacteria from entering tiny holes between the filling and the tooth that can lead to more cavities.

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