With the increased prevalence of fluoridated water has come the propensity of teeth to mask or seal over decay. Traditional methods of cavity detection, including dental x-rays and probing with a metal explorer, can miss the presence of decay, especially that which occurs in the grooves of the biting surface of molar teeth. The surface of the tooth being probed with an explorer (the metal pick used to detect cavities) may appear to be healthy tooth structure, while the underlying tooth is actually being consumed by soft decay.
Recent technology has led to the creation of a laser cavity detection tool which is FDA approved for dental offices in the United States. The DIAGNOdent laser cavity indicator provides a handheld wand which the dentist can use in a manner similar to the traditional explorer instrument. Instead of “picking” into the tooth, the wand is waved over the tooth and an audible tone is emitted when decay is detected. The tone increases in intensity in tandem with the depth of the cavity. A digital numeric reading is also displayed, consistent with the degree of the decay. Laser cavity detection through the use of a DIAGNOdent laser allows penetration through the superficial layer of the tooth and thus captures the true health of the tooth structure below.
The DIAGNOdent laser cavity detector allows us to identify small areas of decay so that problems can be resolved before the decay spreads. This allows for more conservative and less expensive treatment. This invention enables dentists to treat cavities in their early stages, before a root canal or tooth extraction becomes necessary.
Dr. Logan & Associates use DIAGNOdent laser cavity detection when performing exams. This is included in the regular cost of the exam and does not cost the patient extra. Laser cavity detection is quick, pain-free and safe.
Click on the link to see a news story demonstrating the use and benefits of laser cavity detection.