Every dental cleaning you have ever had likely involved the hygienist and dentist checking for tooth decay. Traditionally, two techniques are used to determine whether you have decay. Examining your teeth using dental instruments is one method used in checking for cavities. X-rays are also used to detect cavities found between the teeth and for detecting advanced decay, a situation that regular dental instruments may be unable to find. Because tooth enamel is more resistant now with fluoride use, tooth decay can be more difficult to detect using the conventional methods of detection. In fact, up to 50% of tooth decay goes undetected.
DIAGNOdent is a dental technology that my dental office in Barrington, IL offers. This advanced technology, which is painless and uses a laser, detects hidden cavities that are below the tooth’s surface. Oftentimes, these types of ‘below the surface’ cavities go undetected, but this device makes them easy to find. The laser wand of DIAGNOdent scans over the surface of teeth with pulses of light, and when it detects decay beneath the tooth’s surface, it gives a reading on the sensor as well as an audio signal. The higher the number on the sensor, the greater the amount of decay under the tooth.
Often my patients wonder if they still need to have x-rays with a DIAGNdent scan. The answer is a resounding ‘yes.’ These two procedures complement each other nicely and x-rays are best at detecting decay between teeth.
If you are interested in learning more about DIAGNOdent or finding an experienced Barrington area dentist, I would be happy to help you.