Dr. Ruffo Figueroa was inspired after he attended a conference in Brazil on the physical and chemical properties of cement in tissue regeneration. This is the spark that led to the project, which ended up developing the magical powder. The professor took the idea back to the Catholic University of Santa Maria (UCSM) that is located in Peru where he led a team comprised of experts for designing a material that could regenerate dental tissue while eliminating bacteria. The end result was VITALCEM!
Dr. Ruffo Figueroa explained, ‘The VITALCEM MTA helps to form a strong, impermeable barrier inside the tooth in the presence of bacteria that cause damage.’ The equipment that was used for testing was donated by Happy Dent’s dental clinic. The team carried out studies on the effectiveness of the product in rodents and the reactions it had on bacteria and human cells. The researchers took a total of thirteen years for accomplishing the mission and patenting their creation – VITALCEM.
The research was financed thanks to the Innóvate Perú program of the Ministry of Production. VITALCEM is a fine powder that can be applied in areas with the presence of relative humidity without losing any of its properties. VITALCEM is basically a cement that is composed of calcium silicate, aluminum, hydrated calcium sulfate, and other materials. It is also known as MTA – Mineral Trioxide Aggregate – but the researchers call it VITALCEM.
So, what does it do? It regenerates dental tissue while eliminating bacteria and periodontal diseases such as cavities. It makes surgical interventions much less invasive as opposed to conventional techniques and costs about four times lower than any other method that is being offered in Latin America as of right now. UCSM reports, ‘Sebastian, 8 years old, almost lost a tooth. He had a deep cavity for abusing sweets. Researchers from the Catholic University of Santa Maria (UCSM) inserted a fine powder into the interior of the piece, which already had a hole. In a matter of time, the tooth was cured and coated.’
The University is hopeful that it will be able to make its magical powder readily available to the public soon enough, thus benefiting the patients. As per the statistics that have been provided by the University, about 100% of children have cavities because of their consumption of high amounts of sugar. Unfortunately, only 60% of the people actually go visit a dentist for treatment because of the high cost.