Thursday, March 18, 2010

From Distant Stars to Dental Chairs

When most people think about matter, they think of liquids, solids, and gases. But, there’s a fourth category of matter called plasma that’s actually the most unusual and the most abundant. It’s the stuff of stars, galaxies, and even the northern lights, and it could become a new and painless way to prepare cavities for filling with improved longevity.
“Application of plasma treatment in dental restoration procedures will effectively disinfect cavity-causing bacteria, reduce the use of the painful and destructive drilling currently practiced in dental clinics, and consequently save healthy dental tissues,” says one of the technology’s
inventors, Qingsong Yu, PhD, an assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University of Missouri-Columbia (UMC). “It also improves the bonding strength of restoration composites and prolongs the restoration life. 
Furthermore, it requires no complicated or expensive equipment.” Calling the technology “novel,” University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry assistant professor Timothy Kosinski, DDS, MAGD, says it could “play a prominent role in all of our dental practices."

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