As a parent, you may feel guilty about "forcing" your kids to go to the dentist. After all, you can remember when you were their age and you may have had one or two unpleasant experiences. However, with each generation the concept of pain in the dentist's chair gradually disappears and technology has now come to the rescue, as dental experts believe that fillings and cavities may soon become a thing of the past. What's involved in these latest developments and what could bring a smile to the face of your kids in more ways than one?
Giving the Body a Helping Hand
In a nutshell, "remineralisation" is the buzzword. Technicians are looking into ways to rebuild teeth using the body's own tendency to repair enamel as the catalyst. Essentially, they plan to use certain tools to "electrically accelerate" the remineralisation process, by also introducing certain minerals strategically.
The Process Explained
When the dentist begins their work, they will use a specially designed tool that is meant to deliver phosphates and calcium through an electric current to the area that needs regeneration.
In the past, they would need to insert and then secure a filling that was made from artificial materials and designed to look like the tooth it was replacing. The problem with the "old" approach is that fillings won't last forever and will effectively breakdown as time goes by. Should this happen, more invasive work may be required, including a crown or a bridge. With the new method, the enamel that remains is "encouraged" to rebuild itself quickly and by doing so, it'll reverse any decay that may be evident. In an ideal world, no artificial fillings are introduced at all and the tooth simply grows back by itself with the help of the new tool and electrically-stimulated materials.
Should this technique prove to be the way forward, then there will be no need for any injections at the point of the operation, which is usually the part of the technique that is most feared by younger patients. Dentists believe that the newly formed enamel may even be stronger and have an ability to defend against any future erosion very effectively.
While all this may be a little way into the future, parents can of course help their children to avoid any potential erosion now by controlling the amount of acid that comes into contact with their teeth. It's best to regulate the diet carefully so that sugary acid is eliminated where possible.