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April 08, 2015

No more fillings: Dentists reveal new tooth decay treatment

The needle-free alternative could be available within three years

Health News Dentistry
Dentist M. Spencer Green/AP

In this June 1, 2012 file photo, dentist Dr. Francis Tham and dental assistant Latasha Johnson attend to Medicaid patient Pamela Scott at the Chicago Family Health Center in Chicago.

If just thinking about a dentist drilling into your teeth sends you spiraling into a fit of hysterics, then you are not alone.

An estimated 20 percent of Americans have so much anxiety over sitting in a dentist’s chair that they will only go when absolutely necessary, according to WebMD.

For them, there’s big news: A painless, injection-free technique for treating tooth decay developed by researchers at King's College London is currently being studied.

The pain-free filling, called Electrically Accelerated and Enhanced Remineralisation (EAER), accelerates the natural movement of calcium and phosphate minerals into the damaged tooth, allowing teeth to repair themselves without drilling or injections, according to an article in The Guardian.

The technology could be available within three years.

"The way we treat teeth today is not ideal,” professor Nigel Pitts, from King's College London's Dental Institute, told The Guardian. “When we repair a tooth by putting in a filling, that tooth enters a cycle of drilling and refilling as, ultimately, each 'repair' fails.

The new treatment is also expected to be more cost-effective than current dental treatments.

Read the full Guardian article here.

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