Decay: What is the best way to find decay? It may not be as
simple as you think. We have always relied on x-rays and probing around to feel
soft spots in teeth, along with visual examinations. The problem is that x-rays
don't show all decay, in fact there must be significant decalcification before
anything shows on an x-ray. Poking around is not always reliable because
sometimes decay is starting deep in pits or under the enamel surface where our
instruments are unable to detect the decay. Visual inspection is limited to
what we can see, and not everything that looks discolored is decay. In fact, it
is been found, in a study by Dr. Lussi of Berne University, ,that the
combination of visual examinations, exploration with instruments , and x-rays
combined are only 57% successful in finding small pit and fissure decay. So
what is the answer?
The DIAGNOdent is an ADA approved instrument for the
inspection and detection of decay that is quick and painless.. The DIAGNOdent
is a diode laser that can look inside our teeth to determine whether there is
hidden decay in pits and fissures, or under the enamel surfaces. The laser
energey penetrates into the tooth resulting in the fluorescence of tooth
structures. At the same time, the DIAGNOdent measures the wavelength of
this fluorescence and compares it to healthy tooth structure. A numerical as
well as audible signale is emmitted to inform us of any decalcification present,
as well as the depth of the decay. From these readings, we determine whether we
need to place fillings, or treat with any preventive measures.
Why the DIAGNOdent? The diagnodent is much more reliable
method of successfully diagnosing decay in teeth than traditional methods. As
opposed to the 57% accuracy noted above, the DIAGNOdent is 90% accurate. The
DAGNOdent is just another tool for thet detection of decay that allows us to
detect the early onset of decay, thus allowing us to treat the decay while it is
minimal, rather than waiting for the decay to progress into a bigger problem.
To find out more, click HERE to go to the DIAGNOdent website.