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Protective paint for your teeth and fast-acting braces could banish the dentist’s drill

Afraid of the dentist?

The good news is that a series of remarkable innovations could soon transform the experience.

Even dentists themselves are stunned by the changes.

‘The developments since I qualified 30 years ago have been astonishing,’ says Jack Toumba, professor of paediatric and restorative dentistry at the University of Leeds.

Just last week, researchers from King’s College London announced they’d developed a self-healing filling, which could mean the end of the dentist’s drill.

In a procedure known as Electrically Accelerated and Enhanced Remineralisation, a tiny electrical current is used to push calcium and phosphate into the damaged tooth, encouraging it to heal.

Tooth decay is normally removed by drilling and then filling the cavity with a material, such as an amalgam made from a mixture of metals.

The new technology, which boosts the tooth’s natural repair process, may be available within three years.

Here we look at other innovations set to transform dental care.