The sound of a dentist’s drill has long been known to induce fear in those who have dental anxiety, but new research has been revealed today that could soon see those worries made redundant.
Researchers at King’s College London have come up with an idea that could encourage teeth to repair themselves. They believe electricity can be used to strengthen the tooth, by forcing minerals into the enamel and getting rid of the need for drills, injections and fillings.
The ‘Electrically Accelerated and Enhanced Remineralisation’ technique could strengthen the tooth and reduce tooth decay by using a small electrical current to drive minerals such as calcium and phosphate deep into the tooth. These minerals naturally flow in and out of the tooth and acid, which is produced when eating, helps them to leach out.
Following this, a company has promised to make this technique available within the next three years.
Prof Nigel Pitts, one of the inventors and an investor in the new company said:
‘The technology has the potential to replace the need for many existing fillings, but could not tackle large “end-stage” cavities. What it wont do is physically re-grow a tooth.”