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Patient Library - DIAGNOdent

We Find Decay the Easy Way

One of the most important things we do for our patients is to identify and fill cavities. Since even the smallest spot of decay can threaten the integrity of the entire tooth, finding and filling cavities is the key to preventing further problems of all kinds. Historically, that's why lengthy poking and prodding sessions have been an acceptable, if not very comfortable, part of typical dental exams. However, many people don't realize that these methods of decay detection are only 50% to 75% successful. Cavities often hide along fissure lines, or inside biting or occlusal surfaces. Further, these mechanical exploratory methods are limited to finding only those cavities that are equal to or larger than the probe head. For all these reasons, we've invested in DIAGNOdent: a revolutionary new, thorough means of detecting cavities, so your exam can be fast, easy, and nearly imperceptible.

Laser Reflection Spots Imperfection

DIAGNOdent technology uses a simple laser diode to inspect your teeth, comparing reflection wavelength against a known healthy baseline wavelength to uncover decay. How? First, Dr. Kaiser or Dr. Hoehner simply aims the laser onto one of your healthy enamel tooth surfaces to give us a benchmark reading. Then, he continues on around your mouth, shining the laser into all suspect areas. As the laser pulses into grooves, fissures and cracks, it reflects fluorescent light of a specific wavelength. This light is measured by receptors, converted to an acoustic signal, evaluated electronically to reveal a value between one and 100, then displayed on a screen. Anytime the laser encounters a surface that reads differently than the healthy baseline value, it stimulates emission of fluorescent light of a different wavelength. A reading of 10-20 indicates some enamel softening, pointing to a potential problem area that merits close monitoring. A reading of 21-100 indicates a definite area of decay requiring a filling.

Early Detection, Precise Correction

DIAGNOdent technology means that if your teeth have even the slightest bit of decay, we'll catch it-- sooner and with more precision than we could previously. Further, you won't have to have any x-rays, and will be comfortable during the procedure. Not only can we thus prevent the spread of decay, but by catching decay early, any fillings will be simpler and shallower, preserving more of your teeth. This allows us to use minimally invasive filling procedures, such as drill-free air abrasion. Finally, we can objectively monitor any suspicious areas without repeated x-rays, harm to your tissues, or need for protective measures.

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