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New Procedure Could Make ‘Drill and Fill’ Obsolete

Sep 01, 2015

By Dean George

Dental patients that cringe at the thought of a whining dental drill can take heart. Dentists tired of the same old drill involving ‘drilling and filling’ should listen up.

A new tooth-building technique is taking root (pun intended) which would allow dentists to provide pain-free fillings without drilling, injections or Novocain. If one innovative Scottish company founded last year has its way, ‘drill and fill’ may soon go the way of VCR’s and pay phones.


The dental innovation is called Electrically Accelerated and Enhanced Remineralization (EAER), and it 'supercharges' the natural process of remineralization in the damaged tooth.

Remineralization occurs when minerals like calcium and phosphate present in saliva and those of certain foods bond with the tooth enamel and strengthen it.

Reminova CEO Dr. Jeff Wright, the Scotland firm tasked with bringing the new technology process to market, says the company’s research has discovered a quicker way to stimulate remineralization. "We've just found a way to make that a much faster process,” Wright told Reuters recently.

EAER is a two-step process where first the patient’s tooth is cleansed and conditioned to remove any decayed tissue or organic material that has built up in the cavity. Once the area is clean, the EAER emits a tiny electrical current to introduce natural minerals back into the cavity. The current pushes the mineral ions into the cavity, jumpstarting the remineralization process.

Patients feel no “buzz” or physical sensation from the current, but the micro amps are enough to help the regeneration process bind to the healthy tooth enamel.

Reminova CEO and Chairman Nigel Pitts compares the traditional procedure for filling cavities with the new method their company is pioneering. “When we repair a tooth by putting in a filling, that tooth enters a cycle of drilling and refilling as, ultimately, each ‘repair fails.

“Not only is our device kinder to the patient and better for their teeth, but it’s expected to be at least as cost-effective as current dental treatments.”



Dr. Barry Quinn of King’s College London, which spawned Reminova and where EAER was created, says the procedure would be particularly beneficial for children.

“If you can prevent decay in children then they will become adults with no fillings,” he said. “Also, if children have a better experience of going to the dentist, so they haven't had necessary drilling and injections for routine fillings, then they'll be much more positive in later life and probably become much more regular patients."

Pitt says on the company’s website that bringing this process forward from prototype to commercial viability could make it easier for people everywhere to keep their natural teeth their whole lives.

In addition to offering patients drill-free, painless fillings, EAER can also be used to whiten teeth and may have possibilities for ending painful root canal surgeries.

Reminova has said the market-ready device is estimated to cost about $10,000 and the treatment packs will sell for less than $10. The company is currently seeking investors to help bring the product to market. Plans are to have the product available in the next two years.

Sources: telegraph.co.uk, the guardian.com, reminova.com
Photo source: keithburnsdentist.co.uk


Copyright 2015, Bloom Insurance Agency, LLC©

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