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Study paves the way for drill-free dentistry

Published: 6:59PM Saturday February 09, 2013 Source: ONE News

The whine of the dentist's drill could soon be a thing of the past for children.

An Otago University study in the Hawke's Bay has found children, not surprisingly, prefer a new drill-less dentistry technique as opposed to the traditional "drill and fill" method.

The new procedure involves placing a stainless steel Crown over children's baby teeth in an attempt to halt the spread of decay.

Dental public health specialist Lyndie Foster Page said the new technique means fewer trips to the dentist.

"It's better for the child from a dental aversion point of view. Having one thing done once and well, is better than having a whole pile of treatment over time."

Dental therapist Deanna Beckett said the new technique means less anxiety for children and quicker visits to the dental clinic.

"I think it makes complete sense for dental therapists, who are out there in the workforce, to be the ones to put the stainless steel crowns on."

Researchers say they are not sure when the procedure will be available for adult patients.

They will present their findings at an international conference in the United States.