Electrically Accelerated and Enhanced Remineralisation (EAER) is a new treatment developed by scientists in London which allows cavities to be repaired without the need for drilling or injections, it has been hailed as the new pain-free filling. It essentially allows the teeth to repair themselves.
This new treatment could be available in the next three years and has been developed at King's College London.
Tooth decay is usually removed first by drilling and the cavity then filled with a 'filling' such as composite resin or amalgam, the tooth-rebuilding technique does away with fillings and instead encourages teeth to repair themselves.
A two-step process first prepares the damaged area of enamel, then uses a tiny electric current to accelerate the natural movement of minerals calcium and phosphate into the repair site. It could be available within three years.
Professor Nigel Pitts, from King's College London's Dental Institute, said:
The way we treat teeth today is not ideal. When we repair a tooth by putting in a filling, that tooth enters a cycle of drilling and refilling as, ultimately, each 'repair' fails.
Not only is our device kinder to the patient and better for their teeth, but it's expected to be at least as cost-effective as current dental treatments. Along with fighting tooth decay, our device can also be used to whiten teeth.
Based in Perth, Scotland, a spinout company, Reminova, has been set up to commercialise the research, it is in the process of seeking private investment to develop EAER.
The King's College London Dental Innovation and Translation Centre was set up in January to take novel technologies and turn them into new products and practices, Reminova is the first to emerge from the centre.
King's College is also participant in a project launched by Boris Johnson, the London Mayor called MedCity. This project is to promote entrepreneurship in the London-Oxford-Cambridge life sciences "golden triangle".
Kit Malthouse, the chairman of MedCity, said: "It's brilliant to see the really creative research taking place at King's making its way out of the lab so quickly and being turned into a new device that has the potential to make a real difference to the dental health and patient experience of people with tooth decay."