The new treatment uses a coating of mild acid that is applied to the decay to open up a route to the pores and clear out decayed enamel. Then the open pores are filled with a clear resin.

Paris says the key to getting the treatment to work was finding a filling material that wasn’t thick and goopy so the porous enamel would immediately suck it up like a sponge.

“When you take a sugar cube and you put it into your coffee, you will see that it is soaked up with the coffee,” Paris says. “But if you put your sugar cube into honey, you can imagine that it will take ages to soak into the sugar cube.”