Sometimes, it's difficult for us to diagnose 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 on the tooth, checking X-rays, or feeling for a soft area with a dental explorer. However, we now have a diagnostic tool called the Diagnodent that helps us locate even the smallest amount of decay.
Diagnodent is a laser technology 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, which is translated to a digital read-out. In general, the higher the number, the greater the amount of decay in the tooth. When a cavity is present, the Diagnodent also produces an audible signal.
The widespread use of fluoride has made finding and restoring cavities early in their development more difficult in recent years. Fluoride hardens the outer enamel layer of your teeth, which means decay has a difficult time gaining a foothold. As a result, cavities are typically smaller and can be much harder to diagnose. Before, a dental explorer would catch on the decay, or the cavity would show up on a routine X-ray. Now, however, a small cavity can easily go undetected.
You'll benefit from our use of Diagnodent, because it helps us find decay that may have previously gone undetected. By diagnosing decay early in its development, we can prevent more extensive damage. Your restorations will be smaller and less costly, and you'll be able to retain more of your own natural, healthy tooth.