Cold Plasma to Replace Dental Drills

Cold Plasma Dental Jet

After about 135 years of toe curling and face twitching because of those scary visits to the dentist, the old-school dental drills will someday be replaces with “cold plasma” technology that promises to destroy bacteria without having to make gaping holes on the affected teeth.

Dental drills are meant to remove cavities by grinding out the damaged tissue, creating really shrilly noises, not to mention the excruciating pain and the smell of burnt breakfast.    Instead, cold plasma simply lets out a beam of cold purple jet to kill bacteria while keeping the teeth intact.  This procedure only lasts for about 12 to 18 seconds, a fraction of the time spend on traditional teeth drilling.

Plasma is what scientists describe as the fourth matter, after solids, liquids, and gases.  It is developed when gases are energized until electrons fly off some or all of their atoms.  These cold plasmas, meanwhile, are created by partially ionizing helium gas with pulses of microwaves lasting just millionths of a second, resulting to a product that is about 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius).  Although such temperature is considered hot by some, compare that to hot plasma such as those found in the sun and other stars.

A group of German scientists led by Stefan Rupf, an assistant professor of dentistry at Saarland University, developed the use of cold plasma to treat cavities.  This research will be published in the March 2010 issue of the Journal of Medical Microbiology.

Source:  Slashdot , via CrunchGear

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