Scientists use new ultrasound device to regrow human teeth

Edmonton: Scientists at the Universityof Alberta have used a new ultrasound device to regrow teeth and a market-ready model may be ready for the public within next two years.

Dr Tarak El-Bialy from the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry and Dr Jie Chen and Dr Ying Tsui from the Faculty of Engineering used low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS), to stimulate jaw growth and dental tissue healing. The new device can treat patients with broken roots

The device is aimed at those experiencing dental root resorption, a common effect of mechanical or chemical injury to dental tissue caused by diseases and endocrine disturbances. Orthodontic braces can also cause progressive root resorption, limiting the duration that braces can be worn. This new device will work to counteract the destructive resorptive process while allowing for the continued wearing of corrective braces.

With approximately five million people in North America presently wearing orthodontic braces, the market size for the device would be 1.4 million users.

Dr El-Bialy first discovered new dental tissue was being formed after using ultrasound on rabbits. In one study, published in the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, El Bialy used ultrasound on one rabbit incisor and left the other incisor alone. After seeing the surprising positive results, he moved onto humans and found similar results.

He has also shown that LIPUS can improve jaw growth in cases with hemifacial microsomia, a congenital syndrome where one side of the child’s jaw or face is underdeveloped compared to the other, normal, side. These patients usually undergo many surgeries to improve their facial appearance. This work on human patients was presented at the World Federation of Orthodontics in Paris in September last year.


For more information, please contact:

Dr. Tarek El-Bialy, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry
University of Alberta,
Dr. Jie Chen, Faculty of Engineering
University of Alberta,
Dr. Ying Tsui, Faculty of Engineering
University of Alberta
Phoebe Dey, Public Affairs
University of Alberta

Contact: Phoebe Dey
University of Alberta