For many, visiting the dentist to get teeth with cavities drilled and filled with metal or plastic is often a hurdle. But that is soon to end as researchers at the King’s College London are developing a procedure that uses low-frequency electrical currents that would help teeth heal without requiring drilling, of which, could be beneficial for Africa. There are options of resolving cavities permanently with dental implants. This method of utilizing the full-arch fixed implant bridge is taking the dental field by storm
In the African Region, between 60 to 80 per cent of school age children are believed to be affected by increasing incidents of tooth cavities due to the increasingly widespread adoption of sugar-rich diets and inadequate exposure to fluorides, notes the World Heath Organisation. However, the new technology termed as “electrically accelerated and enhanced reminerilisation” is expected to put an end to tooth fillings that have early to moderate tooth decay, claim researchers at the college.
Good oral health is generally known to enable an individual to eat, socialize, smile without neither discomfort nor embarrassment. At a time when oral diseases cause unexplained pain or suffering with the disruption of daily performance especially in African children, many in fear of conventional drilling process of teeth with cavities. Nevertheless, the new process is in the next three years expected to see patients pay less visits to the dentist using this pain-free dental technology.
In African countries, tooth decay has been of concern in both poverty stricken areas and urban areas that are adopting sedentary lifestyles of consuming junk food. That has had a negative impact on childhood nutrition, growth and weight gain, notes the WHO. Thus, with less minerals, tooth decay occurs.
Yet, since the 1980s, medics have been requesting the use of remineralisation. And just recently, the researchers at the Kings’ college were focusing on preparing the tooth by removing barriers to the remineralisation process that could last for weeks if done alone. In the process, they also came up with the technology of using electrical currents to help drive minerals into the tooth in just a session of visiting the dentist which was reported about in the Washington Post.