From the Dentist’s Chair

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Early Detection for Cavities on the Horizon

Many people are apprehensive about going to the dentist because they fear the sound of drills used to treat cavities. Presently, cavities are detected during examination or identified on X-rays after they have formed. Treatment usually involves removing the cavity with a drill and replacing it with a filling. The new technology appears to spot cavities as soon as they form, allowing for simple treatments with a special wash or varnish.

The new technology, developed at King’s College of London, uses a laser (Raman spectroscopy) to create light patterns on a tooth. Cavity causing bacteria scatter the light in a specific way, making it possible to identify and treat cavities earlier than ever before. Research continues on this new early detection technology, but hopefully, in the near future, the drill will only be an echo of the past.
 

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