Will the Dental Drill Become Obsolete?

A new cavity correcting procedure has been introduced and there is talk that it could make the dental drill a thing of the past.

The technique involves a virtually pain free process that encourages the tooth with the cavity to repair itself. The current method for removing tooth decay involves drilling the affected area and replacing it with amalgam or composite resin.

The treatment has been introduced by a team at King’s College London and involves a two step process called Electrically Accelerated and Enhanced Remineralisation (EAER). First the enamel is prepared and then small electric currents are used to push minerals into the tooth. By accelerating the movement of calcium and phosphate minerals into the tooth, no drilling, injections, or fillings are required. In other words, essentially painless.

King’s College London’s Dental Institute professor Nigel Pitts said: “The way we treat teeth today is not ideal. When we repair a tooth by putting in a filling, that tooth enters a cycle of drilling and re-filling as, ultimately, each ‘repair’ fails. 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.”

This innovative procedure came from the King’s College London Dental Innovation and Translation Centre. A company has been set up to seek private funding to research and develop EAER.

The current timeline for bringing this technique to a dental chair near you is estimated to be three years at a minimum. We will be following the research and progress and keep you posted as more information is released. It is probably safe to say there would be quite a few happy patients if they never heard the sound of a dental drill again.

Of course, in the meantime our team will be doing everything possible to make your visit comfortable and safe.

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Duane P. Delaune, D.D.S. earned his dental degree at Louisiana State University School of Dentistry, where he graduated fifth in the class. Delaune Dental began in 1990 with the passion of providing great customer service and exceptional dental care. Dr. Delaune loves the wilderness and often hikes or goes backpacking.

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