Finding Decay The Easy Way

One of the most important things we do for our patients is to identify and fill cavities. Since any spot of decay can threaten the integrity of an entire tooth, this is key to preventing a host of future problems. Historically, that's why lengthy poking and prodding sessions have been an acceptable, if not very comfortable, part of dental exams. However, such methods of decay detection are only 50% to 75% successful: cavities can hide along fissure lines, or inside biting or occlusal surfaces. Further, mechanical exploratory methods are limited to finding only those cavities that are equal to or larger than the probe head. Enter DIAGNOdent: a revolutionary, thorough means of detecting cavities.

Laser Reflection Spots Imperfection

DIAGNOdent technology uses a laser diode to inspect your teeth, comparing reflection wavelength against a healthy baseline wavelength to uncover decay. First, our Elbow Lake Dentists take a benchmark reading by aiming the laser onto one of your healthy enamel tooth surfaces, shining the laser into all suspect areas. As it pulses into grooves, fissures and cracks, the laser reflects fluorescent light of a specific wavelength which is measured by receptors, converted to an acoustic signal, evaluated electronically to reveal a value between one and 100, and 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. This means shallower, simpler fillings, preserving more tooth structure, and providing a specific mean of monitoring suspicious areas without repeated x-rays.

 Detecting the invisible

If you cannot detect the disease, how can you treat it?

Dentists often experience anxiety when attempting to diagnose the phenomenon known as hidden caries. A suspicious-looking tooth presents a treatment dilemma for dentists. Should the tooth be opened up? What if no caries is found? Should the tooth just be watched, or does that give caries more time to destroy the tooth's surface?
A changing caries model: due to floridation, caries has gone "underground". While helping to improve the oral health of many Americans, fluoridation has resulted in harder tooth enamel. Incipient caries lesions that once began on the tooth's surface have no migrated below the surface.

Proven clinical results: Treatment decisions require a higher degree of certainty. The DIAGNOdent laser caries detection aid removes the doubt from treatment decisions regarding hidden caries ore questionable stained grooves. The device's ability to see into occlusal pits and fissures enables dentists to treat sub-surface caries lesions with confidence.