If during an initial consultation an orthodontist finds that a potential patient has a mouth full of cavities, they will send that individual to a general dentist for treatment. The teeth are particularly vulnerable after they have braces applied to them, and an orthodontist needs to be sure that they stay as healthy as possible for the duration of the treatment.
Having cavities drilled and filled isn't fun for anyone and is a major reason why many people avoid dental and orthodontic treatment. There may soon be an alternative to this somewhat painful cycle, thanks to a group of researchers from King's College London.
The scientists recently announced that they have developed a new technique that can accelerate a tooth's natural healing processes. Known as "electrically accelerated and enhanced remineralization," the process would use a small amount of electric current to push minerals into a tooth, reversing decay.
"The way we treat teeth today is not ideal," Nigel Pitts, a professor at King's Dental Institute, said in a press statement. "When we repair a tooth by putting in a filling, that tooth enters a cycle of drilling and refilling as, ultimately, each 'repair' fails."
The technology that Pitts and his colleagues developed mimics what teeth can do on their own, just on a larger scale. When a person eats something sugary or acidic, the minor damage to teeth is repaired by the calcium and phosphates found in saliva. Tooth decay happens, however, when teeth are over exposed to offending foods and compounds.
Advances in dentistry and orthodontics have made treatment a possibility for more people than ever before. To learn more about what braces could do for you, contact an orthodontist in New York City today!