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New technique as cost-effective as current treatments

The technique developed at King's College London encourages teeth to repair themselves Credit: Press Association Images

Professor Nigel Pitts, from the university'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 re-filling 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."

A Scottish firm, Reminova Ltd, is now trying to find private investment to develop the technique.

Painless treatment for tooth decay in three years

The tooth rebuilding treatment could be available in 3 years Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Tooth decay could soon be treated with a painless "remineralisation" technique developed in London, that means damaged enamel repairs itself, dentists said today.

The technique, which spells the end of drilling, could be available in three years.

The new treatment, developed at King's College London, is called Electrically Accelerated and Enhanced Remineralisation and is expected to cost around the same as fillings.

It speeds up the natural movement of calcium and phosphate minerals into the damaged tooth, which then repairs itself.

Decay is normally removed by drilling, followed by a filling with a material such as amalgam or composite resin.

The new process prepares the damaged area of enamel, then uses a tiny electric current to push minerals into the repair site so the enamel can repair itself.

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London hospitals given research funding

Researchers at some of London's top hospitals are to receive£28 million pounds of government money to study the impact long termconditions on the NHS.

The money will fund thirteen pioneering teams at Kings,Chelsea and Westminster and Bart's Healthcare Trust.

We want the UK to lead the world in terms of health research and this announcement underlines that commitment.

It is vital that we invest in health research, not only to create the opportunities for health research to grow - but also to help our economy thrive so we can compete in the global race.

– Lord Howe, Health Minister