The terrifying whirr of the tooth drill may be one sound you'll hear less of when you visit the dentist of the future. Researchers at King's College London are pioneering a new alternative to traditional fillings -- a pain-free treatment that does away with drills and injections entirely.
The Electrically Accelerated and Enhanced Remineralisation (EAER) technique encourages calcium and phosphate minerals to concentrate on the damaged tooth area. After preparing the damaged enamel, dentists use a tiny electrical current to direct the minerals into the area surrounding the cavity, encouraging the tooth to repair itself. As well as being a less-invasive treatment, it stands the chance of being more reliable too, as the treatment wouldn't require "re-filling" later down the line.
The research is now being spearheaded by a spin-off company, Reminova, who are looking to commercialise the technique within the next three years. [Guardian]