We are very lucky to live in an age with advanced treatment options, such as nonsurgical gum rejuvenation, that weren’t available just a few short years ago. But these advances pale in comparison to the wonders that tomorrow may hold, including the promise that nanotechnology may be able to prevent or even repair the effects of gum disease, including receding gums.
The only reservation is that we don’t know when these technologies will become available or how effective they might prove.
What Nanotechnologies Are Available for Gum Treatment?
Nanotechnology is basically any advance that uses very tiny “machines” to accomplish a particular task. These might not be machines in the traditional sense. Though they do include the possibility of tiny “robots” (apparently already named as “dentifrobots”–who came up with that??!) most types of nanotechnology are essentially molecules or crystals that perform certain tasks.
One of the most commonly proposed possibilities for nanotechnology is nano drug delivery systems. In these systems, certain structures would allow for the delivery of targeted drugs for gum disease. Among the structures proposed for this include tiny particles of plastic, dendrimers (branching molecules whose structure might hold other molecules or improve delivery), nanoshells or microspheres, and liposomes (basically fat bodies used as a delivery system). Some nanotechnology might respond to external stimuli, such as magnetic fields, allowing us to turn the medicine on and off. Liquid crystals are a great example of this, and they are already being pursued as a possible drug delivery system.
Other times, nanotechnology might allow us to embed substances that prevent gum disease into dental restorations, such as dental implants or dental crowns. Even without the use of medication, nanotechnology can help restorations resist gum disease by making them smoother, and, therefore, harder for bacteria to cling to.
When Will They Become Available?
The big question about nanotechnology is when they will actually become practical technologies. There has been talk about the coming age of nanotechnology since the 1990s, and although we have seen some advances recently–notably the use of microspheres to deliver antibiotics directly into periodontal pockets–we don’t have any idea when these technologies (especially dentifrobots) will become available.
In the meantime, we can still achieve great results treating receding gums without nanobots. To learn what results you might see, please call (310) 275-5325 in Beverly Hills or (949) 551-5902 in Orange County.