DENTAL NEWS: Could this Dental Treatment mean the end of drilling and injections?

An innovative cavity treatment, designed by scientists at King's College London and announced this week, may eliminate the need for drilling, injections and even pain.

Rather than removing decay and refilling a cavity with manmade materials, Electrically Accelerated and Enhanced Remineralisation (EAER) encourages teeth to patch-up on their own.

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The technique reverses the decay process by fast-tracking the natural conglomeration of calcium and phosphate minerals in the tooth, causing it to re-mineralize and restore its health. Along with fighting tooth decay, EAER can also be used to whiten teeth, according to Professor Nigel Pitts from the Dental Institute at King's College London.

"Not only is our device kinder to the patient and better for their teeth," says Dr. Pitts, "but it's expected to be at least as cost-effective as current dental treatments." The two-step technique first readies the decayed enamel and then sends electric currents to attract the minerals that encourage the natural repair process.

According to researchers, the electric currents used in EAER are so small the patient cannot feel them.

Dr. Pitts says the product could revolutionize dentistry. "The way we treat teeth today is not ideal," says Dr. Pitts, explaining, "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."

The research team formed a spin-off company, called Reminova, to market their EAER device. Fundraising efforts are in the works and treatment could be available within three years.