International Health News

Painless alternative to the dentist's drill

GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN. Relief is on the way for the many thousands of people whose fear of drilling make them put off their visit to the dentist. Researchers at Medi Team, a Swedish company, have developed a gel which when placed on a decayed tooth surface dissolves the decayed dentine and allows the dentist, in most cases, to repair the cavity without drilling. The gel is made up just prior to use by mixing the content of two capsules, one containing a red gel with three amino acids (glutamine, leucine, and lysine) and the other containing a dilute solution of sodium hypochlorite (bleach). The bleach solution dissolves the decayed dentine while the amino acids protect healthy tissue from damage. The gel, Carisolv, has been under development since 1987 and has been tested on almost 1000 patients. Full scale marketing will begin in early 1998 in Sweden with at least 1000 dentists expected to offer the new procedure. The developers point out that some drilling may still be required, but that this will only be in areas far from the nerve thus eliminating the need to use anaesthetics.
Beard, Jonathan. This won't hurt a bit: the dentist's drill is being ousted by a remarkable red gel. New Scientist, January 10, 1998, p. 14

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