21st Century Cavity Detection

One of the most common treatments we as dentists do for our patients is to identify and fill cavities.  Since even the smallest amount of decay can threaten an entire tooth, finding and filling cavities is the key to preventing future problems. That's why dentists spend time taking yearly x-rays and poking at your teeth with a sharp probe every time you have an exam. However, many people don't realize that these methods of decay detection are only 50% to 75% successful.

 

Here’s the problem: Cavities often hide inside and under the tiny crevices inside and under the chewing surfaces of your teeth and the probe head can’t penetrate these tiny, pin-size holes. For these reasons, 

This laser scanner will often find cavities up to 5 or even 10 years before they would have otherwise been found. Using microdental techniques, the decay can then be removed, often without the need for getting numb when the cavities are tiny and very easy to fix. Early detection means less chance of cracked teeth, future crowns, root canals and other major treatment.

How It Works

The laser is shined into all the grooves and deep pits and crevices of your teeth. As the laser pulses into these areas, it reflects fluorescent light of a specific wavelength. If the fluorescent light comes back a different value than the healthy original baseline,  a number readout and a colored image of the tooth is displayed on the monitor.

Early Detection, Precise Correction 

Using laser technology allows us to catch more areas of decay sooner and with more precision. Further, it requires no x-rays, and is a relatively comfortable procedure. Not only can it help prevent the spread of decay, but catching decay early means the fillings required are simpler and shallower, preserving more of the tooth.  This allows us to use minimally invasive filling procedures. With this technology, we are now able to objectively monitor any suspicious areas without repeated x-rays, harm to tissues, or need for protective measures.