A visit to the dentist has the potential to instil fear and anxiety in many Australians, but help is on the way with a game-changing device promising pain-free and needle-free dentistry.
Developed by technology start-up Dentroid, the Nuralyte prototype is currently being trialled on cells at Griffith University under the supervision of Professor Roy George.
PhD candidate Simone Sleep from Griffith’s School of Medicine and Dentistry said the Nuralyte has the potential to revolutionise the dental industry by removing a lot of fear around dental visits.
“I see so many people who avoid a trip to the dentist because of either a fear of needles, pain or just seeing the dentist in general,” Ms Sleep said.
“But Nuralyte is a small-device, similar to an electric toothbrush but instead of a brush, the end comprising of a series of photonic emitters with specific wavelengths that can go through the tooth structure and bone, blocking the nerve conduction in the same way a needle and local anaesthetic would do.”
Professor George said laser induced analgesia is an important innovation that could address discomfort associated with many dental procedures that need numbing of a tooth or tissues with a needle.
“This non-invasive needle-free procedure is important for managemen
t of patients with anxiety, children or patients that are intellectually disabled.”
Adjunct Professor Laurence Walsh said the device is ideal for commonplace simple dental procedures.
“One burst of light from the Nuralyte could provide 15 – 20 minutes of pain relief so is ideal for procedures such as a scale and clean, and fillings,” he said.
“Even when a needle is still required, patients who are needle-phobic could also find the Nuralyte beneficial as it can provide instant numbness prior to a dentist administering a needle in the mouth, which can potentially remove a lot of fear from the process.”
Dr Omar Zuaiter, a dentist and CEO of Dentroid said: “We are pleased to be collaborating with the distinguished team at Griffith University’s School of Medicine and Dentistry to trial the Nuralyte prototype in clinical settings, and the results are very promising.”
“The patent-pending technology could help ease dental anxiety particularly among children and facilitate mobile dentistry to access rural and remote populations.”
The Nuralyte device could be available in dental clinics by 2025.