COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) – A University of Missouri spin-off company plans to test a new plasma dental brush on human patients in hopes of creating a pain-free alternative to filling cavities.

Scientist Meng Chen says he expects human clinical trials to begin in early 2012 at the University of Tennessee’s Memphis campus. Chen is chief scientist for Nanova Inc., a company formed by several professors that shares a patent on the new technology with the university.

The plasma brush use chemical reactions to disinfect and clean out cavities for fillings within 30 seconds. The research team hopes the technology will allow dentists and patients to reduce the number and costs of replacement fillings as well as decrease the need for patients to have teeth pulled after repeated fillings.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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