Laser Detection Of Cavities In Their Early Stages
At some point in our lives, we must have all heard our dentist tell us how important dental health is, and how you should do everything you possibly can to keep your teeth and gums healthy and happy. While it really is very important to keep your teeth clean and floss between them regularly, it is harder for most people to keep up with the routine. Also, most people fail to understand how dental health can mean more than just how their teeth look or feel. Dental cavities, if ignored for a long time, may end up turning into severe infections. Aditionally, good oral hygiene will help prevent any long term illnesses such as diabetes and respiratory infections.
It is important to understand that things which might seem mundane, will probably save you from pain and serious health problems later on in life. Gum infections, bad breath and cavities can alter your life for the worse. Bad oral health has been proven to reduce self-esteem in adults and children, cause issues with sleeping patterns, and has also been linked to negative behavioral patterns in children.
With our expertise and use of modern technology, we are able to find the smallest of cavities and treat them well before things get out of control. DIAGNOdent laser caries detection aid, approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the American Dental Association, allows us to detect minute cavities with the help of lasers. This procedure is quick and painless.
Despite the fact that most common dental procedures are able to detect cavities effectively, what these procedures fail to detect, is any cavity hiding under the tooth enamel. Since the addition of fluoride to public drinking water, the number of cavity related problems in both adults and children have significantly gone down. While, this was a great achievement on its own, what fluoridation of water simply does is to harden the enamel of the tooth surface, making it resistant to decay. This could have been the best idea for prevention of cavities, except that it fails to take into consideration that cavities do not simply develop on the enamel, but can also develop on the inner softer dentin layer sitting right belo. Unfortunately, any decay that exists under the enamel goes unnoticed by the traditional cavity detectors until it grows bigger and leaves visual damage on the tooth.
Incorporation of possibly the finest, most talked about, ultramodern equipment into our dental procedures: the DIAGNOdent laser caries detection aid. This is by far the leading advancement in the dental diagnostics ever since the x-ray scanner was introduced.
How does DIAGNOdent function?
The functioning of this exceptional device is based on a few basic principles. Firstly, the DIAGNOdent gives off harmless and pain-free pulses of light at a wavelength of 655nm. This light is directly emitted at the tooth structure, which gives off a bright fluorescent reflection if it contains any cavities. The principle works perfectly because none of the naturally occurring substances in a healthy tooth give off any fluorescence when exposed to a 655nm wavelength of light. The fluorescence given off not only detects the internal cavity, but it also doubles up as a measurement of the size of the said cavity. The higher the intensity of decay, the higher the intensity of fluorescence. If the DIAGNOdent detects a cavity that falls outside of the healthy range, it will immediately alert the dentist with the help of a loud signal and numbers displayed on its screen. The amount of fluorescence emitted is reported in the form of a numerical value.
How will DIAGNOdent change the future of dentistry?
Although, it is safe to say that this is one of the best recent innovations in the field of dentistry, it is also unlikely that DIAGNOdent will take over the traditional methods of cavity detection. DIAGNOdent does not cater to the needs of every patient. Individuals with restored sets of teeth will not be able to get this treatment done at all because the fluorescence does not work on artificial teeth.
Why can’t I see the cavity in my x-ray?
It is simply because, unlike the DIAGNOdent, x-rays are not made to detect the amount of decay in your tooth. X-rays merely give you a range of contrast depending on the hardness or softness of the tissues in your teeth. Harder tissues are reported as bright or white contrast, whereas decay is represented by darkness. Because the cavities have to be a certain width-to-width ratio with the surface of the tooth, it is very likely for smaller cavities to go unnoticed.
We are now fortunate to be able to detect and treat shallow cavities without much pain. The faster a cavity is detected, the easier, and less painful the filling (they can be done without drilling) – resulting in a beautiful smile with less time in the dentist’s chair.