Sometimes it's difficult for us to detect cavities, especially in the pits and grooves on the biting surfaces of your back teeth. The traditional way to check for cavities was by looking for visual signs of decay, checking x-rays, or feeling for soft areas with a dental explorer. However, we now have a tool called the DIAGNOdent that helps us locate even the smallest amount of decay.
DIAGNOdent is a laser technology device that scans your teeth with harmless pulses of light. When a cavity is present, fluorescent light of a different wavelength bounces back to the sensor and is translated into a digital read-out. In general, the higher the number, the greater amount of decay in the tooth.
Cavities are now more difficult to diagnose
The widespread use of fluoride has made finding cavities early in their development more difficult. Fluoride hardens the outer layer of enamel of your teeth which means decay has a difficult time gaining a foothold. As a result, cavities that do develop are much smaller and can be much harder to diagnose. Before fluoride, a dental explorer would catch on the decay or the cavity would show up on a routine x-ray. Now, a small cavity can easily go undetected without the help of the DIAGNOdent.
You will benefit from our use of the DIAGNOdent because it helps us find decay that may have gone previously undetected. By diagnosing decay early in its development we can prevent more extensive damage. Your restorations will be smaller and less costly. They can be done painlessly, often without the need for anesthetic and you'll be able to retain more of your own natural healthy tooth.