A painless cavity drill on the anvil?

London: Are you scared of visiting the dentist? Here`s some good news -- a new painless cavity drill could hit the market in two years, say scientists.

A team at the University of Missouri says its hi-tech "plasma brush" can hollow out rotten teeth in just 30 seconds, with only a slight cooling sensation for the patient, the
`Daily Mail` reported.

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 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.

The scientists who have 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 team leader Prof Hao Li.

Clinical trials are about to begin and are expected to show the uses of the plasma brush, according to team member Qingsong Yu.

He said: "There have been no side effects reported during the lab trials, and we expect the human trials to help us improve the prototype."

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 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.


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