Did you know that millions of people, all around the world, suffer from dental phobia? The thought of getting a filling, one of the most common dental procedures, is enough to keep many of them from visiting their dentist, resulting in a worldwide oral disease epidemic. The World Health Organization claims that between 60 and 90% of school-aged children have dental caries, and one bad experience at the dentist as a child can set them up for a lifetime of fear and oral health issues. Seeing as this issue has the potential to be a serious global concern, scientists around the world are looking to discover a way for a more pain free method of treatment. And according to a recent Fox News article, one such method was just born in Great Britain.
Reminova, a company focused on preventive dentistry and and improving oral healthcare, has developed a new technology that they claim can dramatically reduce the need for dental drilling. The Scottish-based company say they have patented the technology to painlessly repair teeth by “supercharging” the remineralization of tooth enamel. When dental plaque bacteria builds up in the mouth, tooth enamel becomes weaker, or demineralizes. If not stopped early on, the result is a dental cavity. Up until now, the only treatment for this decay is through the drilling of the affected area and replacement using a filling.
Dr. Rebecca Moazzez, of King’s College London, had this to say about tooth decay: “Traditionally, the way we have dealt with dental caries is to basically drill the decay out and fill it with a filling material. But the problem with that is, once you start in that cycle – fillings don’t last forever – so the fillings will need to be repaired and replaced. And you’re really in that cycle of repair and replacement for the rest of the tooth’s life.”
Remineralization occurs naturally when minerals found in saliva and some foods enter tooth enamel to make it stronger. Reminova claims their device speeds up this process to be the same amount of time it would take to complete a traditional filling, except without any injections or drilling and best of all, painlessly.
Reminova’s CEO, Dr. Jeff Wright said, “We’ve found a way to make that a much faster process. Driving healthy calcium and phosphate mineral into your enamel, and through a natural process it will bind on and add to the enamel that’s there.”
The process looks something like this: the tooth is first conditioned and cleansed to separate any decayed tissue or organic material. After cleaning, the process, called Electrically Assisted Enhance Remineralisation (EAER) begins. A tiny electrical current of a few micro Amps introduces natural minerals back into the clean lesion. The electrical field pushes the mineral ions into the cavity, triggering remineralization. And it’s all done without any physical sensation in the patient. While the treatment would not replace the need for regular dental hygiene, the company hopes that dentists can use the treatment on early-detected cavities to ensure they won’t progress to a point where a filling would be required.
Clinical trials are still being conducted and Reminova is currently seeking further investment to develop their prototype device into a model ready to use by dentists. If successful, this device has the potential to make a major impact on global dental health care.