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Does Pronamel Intensive Enamel Repair Work?

Updated: Apr 25

The Pronamel Intensive Enamel Repair Toothpaste works by using a combination of sodium fluoride, sodium lactate, PVM/MA copolymer, and no SLS. The combination of these four ingredients working together is how this pronamel toothpaste can intensively repair the enamel.


Sensodyne pronamel intensive enamel repair SLS-free
Intensive enamel repair with its original box

How pronamel intensive enamel repair works:


Other brands lack this synergistic combination of ingredients and that is why they will only repair the enamel but can't do it intensively. However, not all enamel damage can be repaired because if it is too severe, even this toothpaste won't be able to fix it and you'll need to see a dentist.


 

Sodium fluoride repairs enamel

The enamel repairing effect of this pronamel toothpaste is predominantly due to the 0.25% sodium fluoride in its formulation. Without it, the toothpaste would not be able to repair your decayed or eroded tooth.


demineralization remineralization of enamel-plaque-saliva interface
Credit: Adam Hellen

How fluoride repairs enamel:

  • Studies have shown that carious (decayed) tooth structure will more readily absorb fluoride when compared to undamaged enamel.

  • The presence of fluoride in damaged enamel accelerates the remineralization process aka enamel repair.

  • Essentially the fluoride will pull in the calcium and phosphate from the oral environment to remineralize the enamel.


This is the reason why dentists always recommend a fluoride toothpaste over a non-fluoridated one. Although an exception would be hydroxyapatite-based toothpastes which are fluoride free but can still remineralize enamel.


That is an exception. All other types of toothpastes cannot remineralize teeth!


 

Sodium lactate enhances fluoride uptake

Sodium lactate helps to increase fluoride uptake on the enamel surface. That means the tooth will be able to absorb more of it and use it to repair mild enamel damage more effectively.


Studies have demonstrated that toothpastes with sodium lactate had greater surface microhardness recovery, relative erosion resistance, and enamel fluoride uptake. These are all beneficial effects.


However, the mechanism via how it causes an increase of fluoride uptake remains unclear. Nonetheless, the results are very positive.


 

PVM/MA copolymer increases fluoride working time

PVM/MA copolymer is a bioadhesive which helps toothpaste ingredients stick to the surfaces of teeth. This results in the ingredients having a longer contact time and consequently a longer working time to exert their beneficial effects.


Studies have shown that PVM/MA copolymer will retain toothpaste ingredients on the tooth surfaces for several hours after brushing. That means these ingredients, will have a longer contact and working time to exert their effects.


In the case for the pronamel intensive enamel repair toothpaste, it helps it repair the enamel for a longer period of time because the fluoride can work longer.


 

SLS-free eliminates fluoride inhibition

Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is a surfactant that has been shown to interfere with the deposition of fluoride onto the enamel surface. It essentially reduces the bioavailability of it in the mouth to be used for enamel repair.


SLS detergent micelle formation
Credit: Science on the Shelves

In other words, SLS binds to the fluoride and prevents it from being used by your teeth. This means that it is an inhibitor of fluoride's enamel repairing effects.


Since this pronamel toothpaste is SLS-free, it does not suffer from this inhibition. As a matter of fact, all pronamel toothpastes are SLS-free and it is due to this that they call themselves the enamel protection specialists.


As a rule of thumb, SLS-free toothpastes will always be more reparative for the enamel than SLS-based ones. That is a fact.


 

When it works

Yes, the pronamel intensive enamel repair toothpaste can repair small enamel defects and carious lesions but it won't help with severe ones. It's not a panacea because there are limitations in what it can and can't do.


When it works:

  • Incipient lesions. When tooth decay is located only in the enamel and has not yet penetrated into the dentin layer.

  • White spots. These are chalky white areas on the enamel which have experienced demineralization. You'll often find these after removing braces if the patient did not brush adequately.


white spot on molar
white spot on molar

When it doesn't work:

  • Dentin decay. A cavity that is already into the dentin is beyond repair. Yes, even the intensive enamel repair toothpaste can't fix it. There is a reason why this toothpaste is called the "enamel repair" and not the "dentin repair."

  • Missing tooth structure. If you chipped, broke, or cracked a piece of your tooth, this toothpaste cannot restore it.


cracked tooth with missing cusp
cracked tooth with missing cusp

In summary, this pronamel toothpaste can repair very mild enamel damage. Any condition that is considered moderate-severe will be beyond the capabilities of a dentifrice. You will need to see a dentin to fix those conditions.


 

Takeaway

Sensodyne pronamel has optimized the enamel repairing effects of their fluoride toothpaste by adding in synergistic ingredients and excluding antagonistic ones.


Both, sodium lactate and PVM/MA copolymer help make fluoride more effective. The former increases enamel fluoride uptake. The latter helps fluoride stick to the enamel so that it can work longer.


The toothpaste is also SLS-free meaning pronamel has excluded it from its formulation. This is beneficial for fluoride since SLS is a known inhibitor of it.


In conclusion, fluoride toothpastes can repair the enamel but this pronamel toothpaste can intensively repair it due to the addition of two extra ingredients and a lack of SLS. Nonetheless, this is a great preventative dentistry toothpaste as per our dentists in Long island City. We personally use it ourselves.

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About the author: Dr David Chen, DDS

Hello, I'm Dr Chen and I'm an actively practicing dentist in Long Island City, NY. I graduated from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in 2016 but prior to going to dental school I was already working in the dental field. It's been more than a decade since I first got to know dentistry and let me tell you, time flies by quickly. Since then I've developed a fondness for writing, which is how this all got started!

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Medical Disclaimer:

This blog is purely meant for information purposes and should not be used as medical advice. Each situation in your mouth is unique and complex. It is not possible to give advice nor diagnose any oral conditions based on text nor virtual consultations. The best thing to do is to go in person to see your dentist for an examination and consultation so that you can receive the best care possible.

The purpose of all of this oral health information is to encourage you to see your dentist and to inform you of what you may expect during your visit. Due to the unfortunate nature of dentistry, there isn't really any true home remedies that will get rid of dental problems. Roughly 99.99% of them require in-person intervention by a healthcare professional.

Hint: That is the reason why you can't eliminate seeing dentists in your life!

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