Who would be excited about the possibility of a painless way to replace your dental fillings? Every patient and every dentist in the world, that’s for sure. Thanks to engineers at the University of Missouri, they are one step closer to finalizing a method that will do exactly that.
The researchers have been collaboratively working with designers at Nanova, a company that designs and patents medical devices, to create a plasma brush. They have moved into human clinical trials for testing, and if these go as well as expected, dentists could have this brush by the end of 2013.
The plasma brush uses chemical reactions to both disinfect and clean out cavities for fillings in under 30 seconds. The plasma flame–which is cool, we promise–also actually creates a better bond for the material for fillings. Because of this, the plasma brush will also help reduce the overall costs of tooth repairs over time. Teeth can only support two or three restoration procedures before it must be removed. Since fillings that used the plasma brush are 60% stronger, these fillings will last far longer, therefore lengthening the lifespan of the tooth, cutting down on required dental visits and dental costs.
In other good news, the lab trials reported no side effects. The research group expects similar results with the human trials, which are expected to start early this year.
As soon as this device receives its FDA approval and hits the market, it will hopefully become the new procedural norm for filling cavities. Everyone wants a more painless method for fixing cavities–not just patients.