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Dental breakthrough could signal end of drill
Updated: 7/24/2008 4:00:33 PM

Scientists have suggested that the dreaded dental drill could soon be a thing of the past.

According to ScienceDaily thousands of people are put off going to the dentists every year because of the drill, which ranks among the top dental phobias.

Now, a new technology is offering dental experts the opportunity to spot tooth decay almost as soon as it has begun.

Researchers at Kings College London developed the technique, which should be available in dental surgeries within five years.

Based on Raman spectroscopy, the process uses a small optical fibre to distinguish between different chemicals in the tooth, without any invasive procedures.

Frances Downey, a PhD student working on developing the technology, said: "The earlier you spot decay the better as you can remineralize the area so there is no cavitation and therefore no need for a filling."

In related news, dental experts in California recently suggested that childhood tooth decay is a hidden problem in the state.

The Monterey County Herald spoke to Dr James Musser, a pediatric dentist, who said he sees cases where the child's baby teeth are so rotten they have to be removed altogether.
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