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Dental care of the future - plasma to kill oral bacteria
Updated: 6/18/2009 11:00:50 AM

Everyone should visit their dentist for regular dental health checkups to make sure their teeth are in top condition.

Sometimes, despite rigorous dental care, some people contract infections deep inside a tooth and researchers at the University of Southern California's Density and Engineering schools have come up with a high-tech tool to kill tooth bacteria.

Biofilms are particularly tough bacteria and are protected in a matrix that means they cannot be eliminated with antibiotic treatments, so the team developed a cool plasma torch that hits the bacteria in a tooth's root.

This technology will hopefully revolutionize dental care and research author and professor Chunqi Jiang expressed her excitement at the test results.

"We believe we're the first team to apply plasma for biofilm disinfection in root canals," she stated, expressing the team are "happy to be broadening our fields" in using plasma as an innovative solution to this medical problem.

However, people still have to do the hard work of routine dental care such as flossing and regular brushing to prevent bacteria from entering the tooth in the first place.

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