New decay detecting instrument could put an end to fillings

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A new instrument, which is able to detect early warning signs of tooth decay, could put an end to the need for fillings.

The instrument, which is named the CarieScan Pro, was developed by a team of Scottish researchers. The tool is a small clip-like device, which is inserted into the patient’s mouth; a faint current of electricity is then passed through the mouth and this enables the dentist to assess the levels of decay in the patient’s mouth; the level of decay is identified by different coloured lights.

The CarieScan Pro is an innovative device, which enables dentists to identify signs of decay in the very early stages; this means treatment can be given straight away, which help to prevent the need for fillings, as well as preventing further decay. Researchers believe the instrument will be particularly useful for young children, who will be able to benefit from fluoride treatments instead of having to undergo procedures to fit fillings, which may cause them to feel anxious and scared.

Currently, the CarieScan Pro is being used by around forty dentists but it is hoped that this number will increase significantly in the coming months and years. The device costs £2,000 and each disposable head costs £3; this could save a considerable amount of money in the long-term as it will eradicate the need for many people to have fillings. The CarieScan Pro can detect signs of decay that can easily be missed during routine examinations or even X-rays and involves no exposure to radiation and no pain. Further trials are being conducted and it remains to be seen if the CarieScan Pro will become an essential dental instrument in the future.

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