This medical video looks into a new dental tool that could reform dentistry and your teeth.
Read the full transcript »
Jennifer Matthews: Smiles come naturally to Mignon Wolfe today, but she used to avoid them. Mignon Wolfe: If you're having a lose tooth anywhere in your mouth, you're conscious of it, but to have it as your major front tooth. Jennifer Matthews: The culprits were an infection and bone loss deep in the gum. Dr. Ron Lemon: appear was the one that's causing all the problem. Jennifer Matthews: Endodontic Specialist Ron Lemon had a revolutionary material, known as MTA, that could seal off the problem but he had no way to get it where it was needed. Dr. Ron Lemon: Imagine mixing sand and water and trying to manipulate very, very small quantities of that material into very, very small spaces, because it has no flow characteristics. Jennifer Matthews: Doctor Lemon says a television documentary on the Hoover Dam helped solve the problem. He watched how engineers overcame obstacles with cement pouring. Dr. Ron Lemon: They found that the answer, or one of the answers, to this was to vibrate the mixtures to give the concrete flow properties and when I really thought about it, it was only a problem of scale." Jennifer Matthews: He invented a vibrating ultrasonic applicator that allows the gritty dental material to mix with water. It stays putty-like until it is placed. Difficult root canals and traumatized teeth are among the many problems that can now be helped. Mignon Wolfe: I feel like I should put a heart right on that tooth, because I'm so excited it's still there. Jennifer Matthews: This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.