A new clinical trial at the UAB School of Dentistry is offering patients with cavities in-between teeth a new, less painful treatment option.
The new treatment, called resin infiltration, is a way to treat small cavities in-between teeth. Normally, the only way to access these cavities is by numbing a patient with a shot and drilling away tooth structure to access the cavity. Resin infiltration allows the dentist to slide a plastic perforated sheet between the teeth with the cavities.
"When we develop cavities between teeth, sometimes we have to go through the tooth, and we end up damaging healthy tooth structure," said Augusto Robles, DDS, assistant professor and director of Operative Dentistry Curriculum. "This new system allows us to skip the drilling and helps us preserve that structure."
The cavity is first cleaned by pushing a gel that prepares the surface to accept the resin infiltrant through the perforated sheet. The tooth is then filled by pushing a liquid resin through the perforated sheet. A dental curing light is then applied to the tooth to cure the resin, and the treatment is complete.
There is no drilling necessary, and the procedure is typically completed without any anesthesia.
"I never thought this would be possible for dentistry," Robles said. "In my 24 years of practicing, this changes everything we've done so far. It's marvelous."
Patients interested in participating can schedule a free screening appointment by emailing SODBiohorizons@uab.edu. There is no cost to participate in the study.