Hey Kids, Drill Free Cavities

New Procedure Can Eliminate the Need to Drill

by Alex Lee, age 13

Traditionally, when a cavity was discovered in a tooth, a dentist had to drill through the tooth to treat it. But a new tool has been developed that stops early-stage cavities. It is called the Icon system, and was developed by the dental-materials manufacturer DMG.    

In the past, if an early cavity was detected, an enamel-strengthening fluoride rinse was used and the tooth would hopefully heal. If healing did not occur, the dentist would drill through the tooth.    

The new Icon system eliminates the need for drilling and waiting. Using the new process, the dentist easily slides a thin plastic applicator between the patient’s teeth. Then the dentist squirts hydrochloric acid on to the applicator to create a gap to reach the tooth’s deeper layer. Low-viscosity resin, a hardening liquid, is then applied to the tooth. The resin is flashed for a moment with a high-energy blue light, which strengthens the tooth.    

DMG is working on a resin that can better withstand the normal wear and tear of a tooth. The company’s president, George Wolfe, hopes to have the new resin in a year.    

”One of my greatest fears,” Wolfe says, “Is having to hold down my scared kid for a filling. Hopefully, I’ll never have to.”

[Source: Popular Science]