Those of a certain age will know what "a trip to the murder house" means.
It was the dentist and it often entailed painful drilling.
But a new study has revealed tooth decay can be stopped and reversed without the need for fillings, which of course means no drilling.
The traditional "fill and drill" approach has dominated dentistry for decades, but Lyndie Foster Page is a dentist who prefers to leave her drill in the draw.
"Big cavities basically need to be restored, or drilled/filled," she says. "Of course if you've got good teeth and there's no decay at all, then they don't, but the ones in the middle are the ones that we're all making decisions around."
She says in many cases, a filling isn't necessary.
The new 'no drill' approach works for early decay by applying a fluoride paste every three to six months.
It's proving popular, but it also means a little extra effort from patients too.
A seven-year study in Sydney found the need for fillings was reduced by 30 to 50 percent through preventive oral care, and that works for the dentists too.
So in the future, a trip to the "murder house" won't be such a dreaded ordeal.