The mere mention of a visit to the dentist is enough to make many people with odontophobia, or fear of the dentist, cringe in anticipated pain. The visit could just be to fill in a cavity, not the dreaded tooth extraction.

Thanks to British scientists, the procedure of filling in a dental cavity could be done painlessly, using the Electrically Assisted Enhanced Remineralisation (EAER). The procedure applies to slightly decayed tooth before it worsens into a deep cavity, reports Engadget.

Reminova, the Scottish company behind the technology, is seeking more investors to develop the prototype device into a model that dentists could use. While the device would cost US$10,000 ($14,237), the treatment pack would sell for less than US$10 ($14), reports Reuters.

According to Dr Rebecca Moazzez from King’s College London, with EAER, the problem tooth would be initially cleaned by flushing it with minerals and then stimulating it with an electric pulse. The procedure pushes the minerals into the deepest part of the lesion and hastens remineralisation, a natural process when the minerals in the saliva and some food enter the tooth enamel and strengthen it.

“We’ve just found a way to make that a much faster process. Driving healthy calcium and phosphate minerals into your enamel, and through a natural process it will bind on and add to the enamel that’s there,” explains Dr Jeff Wright, CEO of Reminova.

But while the procedure helps ease the trauma caused by the old way of cleaning a dental cavity by drilling, Moazzez points out that filling in a cavity is a repetitive cycle that a patient would eventually go back to the dentist to undergo the procedure again.

While she says there is no substitute for the positive effect of regular toothbrushing and cavity filling, EAER at least prevents cavities from maturing in a painless way.

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