New pain-free alternative to dentist`s drill gives longer life to fillings
London: Researchers have invented an elegant device invented that they claim is a pain-free alternative to the dreaded dentist`s drill, plus it could give fillings a longer life.
The new device created by researchers from the University of Missouri in the US is like an electric toothbrush and cleans out cavities with high energy gas and liquid particles.
It does more than cut through tooth decay – it`s called a non-thermal argon plasma brush (NAPB) and as it shoots out electrically charged particles, it kills bacteria instantly.
Bacteria are the cause of tooth decay because the acids they produce can burn through tooth enamel - the hardest tissue in the body.
These bacteria feed on sugar which is why sweet foods promote tooth decay, the Mirror reported.
It`s because of the toughness of enamel that conventional dentists` drills cause pain.
To penetrate enamel, drills set up strong vibrations throughout the tooth including the pulp where there are sensitive nerve endings. Vibrations from the drill set these nerves on edge.
But with the NAPB there`s no drilling and therefore less discomfort for frightened patients because the highly sensitive nerves at the centre of the tooth are spared.
While the average filling lasts around 10 years, fillings done with NAPB are 60 percent stronger meaning longer times between fillings.