The deep grooves on the chewing surfaces of our molars are the most common area to get cavities. In most people, the grooves are so deep and narrow, it is impossible to clean them. Over the years, bacteria can get into the grooves and grow undisturbed. The bacteria give off acids as their waste products. This acid slowly dissolves the tooth, causing a cavity.
For such a cavity to be detected by eye or x-ray, it has to have grown to a minimum size. Now there is a new tool to catch these cavities in their beginning stages, so they can be eliminated before they cause much damage.
Everything absorbs and reflects light differently. The DIAGNOdent Laser Cavity Detector shines a laser light into the tooth and the unit is calibrated to interpret the wavelengths of light reflected back. It will buzz when a cavity is detected and gives a numerical readout, so the approximate size of the cavity can be estimated.
If such cavities are detected when they are still small enough, another new technology, known as Air Abrasion, can clean them out without any shots or drilling.
The device is a compact diode laser used to identify areas of tooth decay that traditional means, including x-rays, miss.
DIAGNOdent shines a laser beam down into the tooth, to a depth of 2.5 mm.
The device is aimed into the grooves of teeth, providing a decay reading to the dentist