The changes that have occurred in dentistry are amazing. As with most professions the pace of change has
accelerated phenomenally over the past few years directly related to the advances in dental technology.
The Diagodent is an amazing dental tool that uses a laser to help us detect tooth decay. The pits and grooves are areas where decay can be present long before seen on an x-ray.
These areas have stumped dentists since we started. In the past we had to diagnose tooth decay by sticking a sharp instrument into it and seeing if it stuck. The problem with this method was that it only detected tooth decay when it was big enough to get the instrument into it. It is also possible to “stick” into a pit that has no decay at all. Fluoridation has had the effect of strengthening enamel but not stopping the underlying decay making a physical diagnosis with a sharp probe much less certain.
The Diagnodent assigns a numeric value to the groove and if that reaches a certain threshold, we know it’s time to work on it. However, if it’s below that number we may be able to remineralize it and never have to fill it. Most of the fillings detected early by the Diagnodent can be treated without an injection and without a drill. By finding these cavities early, we have helped hundreds of patients avoid deep fillings, root canals, crowns and even extractions.