One of the most important services we provide for our patients is the identification and restoration of cavities. Sometimes, decay can be elusive. If the decay remains hidden, it can threaten the health of the entire tooth. Traditionally, most cavities on the biting surfaces of teeth are diagnosed by using a dental pick. Unfortunately, that does not detect cavities until they have become at least the size of the end of the pick. Now, there is a new technology Drs. Hoover and Yanda use to detect decay when it is much smaller and, therefore, easier to treat.
A Diagnodent is an instrument that utilizes a painless, red laser to inspect teeth. First, the laser is aimed towards a tooth we know is healthy. That records a healthy baseline. Then, we can compare any tooth to that one. As the laser pulses into grooves, pits and fissures it reflects fluorescent light, which is measured by receptors and converted into a numerical reading, as well as a sound that changes pitch.
Early diagnosis with the Diagnodent can prevent the spread of decay and catch decay early. This means fillings are smaller, preserving more of your teeth. The Diagnodent is for use on the chewing surfaces of teeth as well as the lip and tongue sides of teeth. It does not work between teeth very well. Those surfaces are best seen on radiographs.