Dentistry is one of the hallmarks of an advanced civilization but there are still gaps in the technology. For example, more than 2 billion people around the world develop defects each year that can lead to cavities.
The solution has been to drill and fill the tooth with a material such as an amalgam, a process that can come with its fair share of pain. But researchers at Reminova Ltd., a spin-out company from King’s College London, say they can turn back time and get teeth to heal themselves.
The researchers say tooth decay sets in when too many minerals leach out of the tooth and undermine its enamel. Their two-step method reverses that process by first preparing the damaged part of the enamel outer layer of the tooth, then using a tiny electric current to “push” minerals into the tooth to repair the damaged site.
The process is painless and could be in use in the next three years, they say.
“Not only is our device kinder to the patient and better for their teeth, but it’s expected to be at least as cost-effective as current dental treatments. Along with fighting tooth decay, our device can also be used to whiten teeth,” Professor Nigel Pitts, from the college’s dental institute, said.
The development is certainly one dentists should get their teeth into and could be just what the doctor ordered to shed the painful stigma that the noble profession of stomatology has been stuck with all these years.
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