Dental patients could be spared the drill with new diagnostic liquid
The days of the dreaded dental drill-and-fill as the standard solution for tooth decay may be numbered if a discovery by a Creighton University School of Dentistry professor continues to advance.
Douglas Benn DDS PhD has created a simple diagnostic liquid solution that can be applied to the surface of a patient’s teeth prior to a dental X-ray and which will help show dentists whether a tooth has cavitated decay or is pre cavity. The diagnostic liquid will help dentists to more readily see cavitated decay on a standard X-ray, and will also allow the dentist to use recently developed topical products to arrest tooth decay at an early stage, thereby preserving healthy tooth structure and utilising a simple, pain-free method of detection and treatment, without anaesthesia or drilling.
Dental caries – otherwise known as tooth decay – is the most common infection in the world and probably the one producing the most anxiety in potential dental patients. Caries goes through two stages: an initial non-cavitated state where decay can stop and no filling is needed, and a later cavitated state where a filling is often needed to stop decay from progressing. Currently, dentists do not have a test to determine the difference between the two states, and this leads to the standard treatment: a drilling and a filling. But decay doesn’t automatically mean a cavity, and the filling cure can often be more trouble than it’s worth.