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Pain-free dentistry – thanks to a beam of light

There are many people who dislike going to the dentist, for some it’s a complete fear or phobia, others don’t like the idea of drills and needles. Whatever reason someone has for not wanting to go to the dentist, wouldn’t it be incredible if you could go to the dentists and it was an experience that was completely pain-free?

Researchers at the Queensland University of Technology have been leading the way when it comes to the future of dentistry – it could be less painful thanks to the world-first project underway. Christopher Barner-Kowollik is an Australian Laureate Fellowship Professor at Queensland’s University of Technology, he and his team of researchers have recently been awarded a grant worth $364,503.00, from the Australian Research Council to support their ongoing partnership with Ivoclar Vivadent based in Liechtenstein to develop this stunning new groundbreaking *on demand visible light degradable dental material*.

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Professor Barner-Kowollik stated *Our project aims to break new ground in the field of advanced adhesives by pioneering a unique system that can be cleaved with a defined visible light trigger, enabling the removal of previously bonded material without mechanical force*.

This would mean that rather than using pliers or some other tool on a patient to remove old work, a beam of light would be waved in the area – by the dentist to create that separation. This would mean a lot to those fearful of the dentist when old fillings etc are removed – for the patient it seems a lot of work, a lot of noise and a lot of time.

Not only would this make a visit to a dentist a lot less painful, it also means a range of materials to be strongly bonded, this would include braces, implants and dental crowns, can be removed easily.

Christopher Barner-Kowollik’s colleague Dr James Blinco added that this project would advance on-demand degradable materials design and introduce an advanced class of responsive networks, critical for dental applications where reverse bonding is necessary.

Dr Blinco added – * This, in turn, will have flow-on benefits in future dental material applications and also have applications where simple-to-remove, temporary adhesives are required*.

Advancements in dentistry are increasing at a rapid rate, but sadly there are many people who still avoid a dentist at all costs, even to the extreme that by the time they get to a dentist it can be too late to save teeth. It’s hoped that this new technology will help those who fear the dentist feel more comfortable.

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