If the mere thought of drilling makes your blood run cold, here is some good news. Researchers at the University of Leeds have discovered a pain-free way of attacking tooth decay.
How It Works
Tooth decay is caused by acid-producing bacteria, which eats away at the tooth. Historically, the damaged tooth had to be drilled and filled or even removed. This aversion to drilling is the number one reason people are afraid to go to the dentist, so existing problems sometimes get worse or early signs of decay are ignored. Even though dental practices provide a wide array of medicines and techniques to reduce pain and control anxiety, this non-invasive alternative could remove the pain and anxiety altogether. The solution is a pep-tide based fluid that is painted onto the tooth’s surface at the first sign of decay; this not only stops the decay, but also stimulates regeneration of the acid-damaged tooth tissue. Professor Jennifer Kirkham says, “It is a totally natural non-surgical repair process and is entirely pain-free too.”
The Future of Dentistry
It was tested on a small group of adults who had early signs of tooth decay. The results indicate that this fluid can reverse damage and regenerate tooth tissue. Researchers predict that if these results can be repeated on a larger group, this method will be available at local dentist offices within two or three years.
Until then, stay strong, keep brushing and come see us for our own version of no drilling fillings, where we use a gentle stream of sand and air to remove damaged areas of the tooth.