UK & World News
No-Drill Filling: Teeth To Repair Themselves
The high-pitched whine of the dental drill could soon become just an unpleasant memory after the unveiling of a new technique that rebuilds teeth with painless electrical pulses.
The new treatment accelerates the natural movement of minerals into the teeth, allowing cavities to be repaired naturally - without the need for drills or amalgam fillings.
Professor Nigel Pitts, from King's College London's Dental Institute, told Sky News that there is a constant movement of minerals in and out of teeth.
But an electric charge can switch the flow one way.
"We rebuild tooth mineral by driving back in with minute electric charges the calcium and phosphate that it's made from," he said.
He added that the natural repair is likely to be stronger than traditional "patches".
He said: "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 is expected to be at least as cost-effective as current dental treatment."
The process - called Electrically Accelerated and Enhanced Remineralisation - can also be used to whiten teeth.
Reminova Ltd, a spin-out company from the Dental Institute, is now seeking investment to develop the device further.
It could be in dental surgeries in two to three years.