As explored in an earlier post, tooth enamel is the hardest and most mineralized organic substance produced by the body. Despite this fact, tooth enamel is susceptible to a long lifetime of assault in the form of damage and decay, and is unable to regenerate itself. This is due to the fact that the enamel is formed by a layer of cells that is lost by the time the tooth becomes visible in the mouth. But there is this emergent field of dentistry called “Tooth Engineering” that is developing around laboratory grown enamel and other tooth material. At the University of Tokyo they’ve figured out a technique for culturing cells that have the capacity to grow enamel. At the University of Zürich, the gene responsible for enamel growth has been identified. Studies and experiments are underway to conventionalize these discoveries. You heard correctly. Somewhere, somebody is actually in the process of developing the technology to grow human teeth. Think of the repercussions! Soon you can drink soda and not brush your teeth until the teeth fall out of your head, and then simply regrow them. This technology is still a little ways away from human testing, so for now, continue your regimen of flossing, brushing and generally pampering your incredible teeth.