The traditional way to detect cavities has always been with x-rays and by feel with the dental explorer. While these methods are accurate, the newest technology in cavity detection, the diagnodent, is used in our office.
The diagnodent is an instrument that detects decay by scanning your tooth with a pain- free laser. When a cavity is present, the amount of light reflected back by your tooth differs from that of healthy tooth structure. These changes are detected by a sensor that translates the difference into a numerical readout and an audible tone. In general, a higher number means a larger cavity.
With the advent of fluoride, which hardens the outer enamel layer of your teeth, cavities have become more difficult to detect. The diagnodent allows us to accurately diagnose decay that previously may have gone undetected.
Because decay is detected at an earlier stage than ever possible before, we are able to place smaller, more conservative restorations, thus saving more of your healthy tooth structure.