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Next Time You Need a Tooth Filled, Ask Your Dentist for a Filling with Drugs

By rob13     Apr 4, 2007 in Health
For those of who you do not, or cannot, take pills, maybe having a tooth filled with a dosage of your medicine is the answer to your prayers.
Research is being done in Europe and Israel in finding a way to create a device that will deliver a drug dosage from a person's tooth. This research is being funded by the European Union.
The device, called the IntelliDrug, is supposed to go into a person's mouth. This device is supposed to deliver a certain dosage at specific times thus ensuring a patient is receiving the correct dosage at the correct time. The goal of the researchers it to make this device small enough to fit into the mouth as a replacement tooth. Researchers think a replacement molar would be best for this device because molars are in the back of the mouth.
Dr. Andy Wolff, an Israeli dentist who initially came up with the concept, states patients usually take their prescribed medicines only about half the time they are supposed to take them. He believes this device will help patients take the proper medicine dosage because it will take away the inconvenient process of having a patient get up in the middle of the night.
Wolff's company, Saliwell Ltd., and German microelectronics institute HSG-IMIT are two of 15 organizations involved with the development of the device. The project is funded by a program that promotes cooperation between EU nations and Israel. The organizations include universities, companies, research institutes and hospitals. One notable name is Spanish telephone company Telefonica SA, which is helping with the communications technology side of the development.
Dr.Wolf states the mouth is the perfect place for such a device because the mouth is easy to access, and the drug can be sent directly into the patients bloodstream by way of the lining in a person's cheek. In addition, Dr.Wolf feels that saliva, when mixed with the drug from this device, will be a more consistent carrier for a drug instead of taking a pill every 4 to 6 hours.
The IntelliDrug consists of a stainless steel housing, pump and custom valves to regulate the drug flow, a microprocessor, batteries, and a reservoir for the drug pill. Right now, this device is about the size of two teeth. In order for the drug to be delivered, this device has to be hooked to the side of a persons teeth so that it can hug the cheek. The developers are still trying to come up with a way to make this device smaller.
It is believed this device will help people who suffer from diabetes because these people have to take regular insulin injections in controlling their blood-sugar level. So, instead of having to inject insulin into their veins, a diabetes patient could wear the IntelliDrug when they need a dose of their insulin.
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