US dentists trial new treatment that could make a fear of the drill a thing of the past

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Dentists in the US are trialling a new form of filling method, which could make a fear of the drill a thing of the past.

Many patients are overcome by waves of anxiety when they hear the dreaded dental drill from the waiting room, but anxiety could soon be put to bed thanks to a ground-breaking new technique, which is being put to the test in Alabama. Researchers at the University of Alabama’s Birmingham dental school are currently offering patients a treatment method known as resin infiltration.

For years, many patients have dreaded the words, ‘you need a filling’ because they know it means an encounter with the drill. Now, thanks to new developments, it may be possible to fill cavities in a hassle-free, painless manner, which is much more appealing to nervous patients.

Resin infiltration involves placing a thin plastic sheet between teeth affected by cavities, and then pouring in the resin, which is set using a curing light. This new technique requires no drilling at all, and there’s no risk of damage to the healthy tooth structure.

Augusto Robles, assistant professor at the dental school, explained that the new technique enables dentists to access cavities between the teeth without needing to use a drill. The process is less daunting for patients, and the surrounding tooth tissue remains intact.

Director of biomaterials at the dental school, Nathaniel Lawson, said that the treatment has so far proven a great success with patients.

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