A student and professor team at the University of Saskatchewan studying teeth may have accidentally discovered a health hazard that could change the way dentists work.

'You cannot avoid it entering the digestive tract' - Professor Assem Hedayat

Professor Assem Hedayat and physics student Nicole Nagy used advanced imaging equipment at a synchrotron in California to learn more about small channels in the teeth.

But what they found instead, were shiny particles under the fillings.

The particles likely come from the drill dentists use when filling teeth. Hedayat said those particles could pose a health risk.

“You cannot avoid it entering the digestive tract and once it enters the digestive tract you know it can embed itself anywhere.”

More research needed

Hedayat said more research is needed to determine what the health risks are.

However, he said the discovery could change the way dentists work.

“This can lead us into rethinking how we drill the or how we prepare the teeth for filling, like we should be looking into other technologies.”

Hedayat said some dentists are already using lasers, rather than drills for fillings.