Even with the advances of dental technology, it is becoming more and more difficult for dentists to discover cavities in their patient’s mouths. Due to the amount of fluoride in drinking water, American’s have harder tooth enamel than in years past. Tooth decay does not give up however and the decay searches out microscopic tears in your tooth’s enamel to settle and do its harm. Teeth may seem relatively healthy, even using traditional x-rays and digital x-rays, but decay is hiding underneath the surface of the teeth, in hard to detect tiny tears.
Using traditional methods of finding cavities (x-rays and probing with fine picks) is roughly only 57% accurate. There is a new method of cavity detection that is changing this failing system of finding cavities or problem areas; welcome to the new face of cavity prevention . . . laser cavity detection.
Laser cavity detection is proven to be 90% accurate at locating cavities or areas of potential concern. Light reflects differently in a healthy tooth vs. a tooth with decay. Your dentist will use a wand like instrument to beam light onto the chewing surface of your teeth. A read-out will be produced based on the density of your tooth structure creating an accurate calculation of the possibility for tooth decay. In addition to the readout, the laser cavity detector sends out an audio signal to help pinpoint the areas of concern. With the early prevention created by laser cavity machines, dentist’s can sometimes prevent a cavity from ever happening with proper care and treatment. Weak areas of the teeth can be treated with fluoride, or a dental sealant preventing potential cavities from penetrating the tooth’s surface. Cavities are being detected sooner, allowing dentists to treat a small problem before it becomes larger and more intrusive to the health of your teeth. Ask your dental professional if they are using this new form of cavity detection at your dental practice.