|Painless: The plasma brush is a new technique |
which could replace the dental drill in fillings operations
There could yet be hope for those who live in fear of getting a filling, as a new painless cavity drill is set to hit dentists' surgeries.
The hi-tech 'plasma brush' can hollow out rotten teeth in just 30 seconds, with only a slight cooling sensation for the patient.
It uses chemical reactions to disinfect cavities before operations, and forms a bond on the tooth which is much stronger than current techniques.
This means that fillings will much last longer than before, a huge boost for dentists and patients as currently many stay in place for just a few years.
Scientists from the University of Missouri, which has pioneered the research along with medical technology company Nanova, are confident that the new device marks a huge breakthrough in dental practice.
'Our studies indicate that fillings are 60 percent stronger with the plasma brush,' said engineering professor Hao Li.
|Groundbreaking: The device uses chemicals to disinfect rotten teeth|
|Hi-tech: But the brush is expected to come to market within two years|
If the trials are successful, the brush could revolutionise one of the most important areas of dentistry.
The scientists claim that 75 per cent of all dental procedures involve fillings, and billions of pounds are spent on the minor operations each year.
Despite how common fillings are, they still fill many with dread - not least because of the pain involved in drilling in to a rotten tooth.
But if all goes to plan, the pain will end in late 2013, when the plasma brush should be made available to dentists for the first time.
“Painless ” Plasma Brush Is Becoming Realistic In Dentistry, MU Engineers Say from MU News Bureau on Vimeo.