One of the most important things we do for our patients is identify and fill cavities. Since any spot of decay can threaten the integrity of an entire tooth, detection is key to preventing a host of potential problems. Lengthy poking and probing sessions have been an acceptable, if not very uncomfortable, part of dental exams for years. However, such methods of decay detection are only 50% to 75% successful. Cavities can hide along fissure lines or inside biting and chewing surfaces. Furthermore, mechanical exploratory methods are limited to finding only those cavities that are equal to or larger than the probe head. To make the process more comfortable and comprehensive, we use DIAGNOdent – a revolutionary dental laser that is capable of locating decay in its earliest stages.
Laser Reflection Spots Imperfection
DIAGNOdent technology uses a laser diode to inspect teeth by comparing reflection wavelength against a healthy baseline wavelength to uncover decay. First, we take a benchmark reading by aiming the laser onto the surface of a tooth that has healthy enamel while shining the laser into all areas that are suspect. As it pulses into grooves, fissures and cracks, the laser reflects fluorescent light of a specific wavelength which is measured by receptors. This is converted to an acoustic signal, which is evaluated electronically to reveal a value between 1 and 100. This information is then displayed on a screen. Any variation from the healthy baseline value stimulates emission of a different wavelength and alerts us to a weakened area of decay. Not surprisingly, this technology quickly and precisely identifies even the tiniest bit of decay. Most importantly, this means more shallow, simpler fillings while preserving more tooth structure and providing a specific means of monitoring suspicious areas. No X-rays are required with DIAGNOdent, so patients do not have to worry about radiation exposure. The best part of this technology is that we find decay at its earliest stage, allowing us to remove the smallest amount of diseased tissue while preserving the integrity of your tooth!