Traditionally, cavities had to be identified through careful inspection by the dentist, or by taking dental x-rays to assess areas between the teeth or deep under the outer layer of enamel. If not diagnosed quickly, those cavities can rapidly spread deeper into the teeth and even jump to adjacent teeth. The larger the cavity is, the more complex it is to treat it. What if there were a way to find cavities long before they were visible on x-rays or through a clinical exam?
With laser cavity detection – you can! Using advanced sound wave and light technology, your dentist can identify changes in density of your tooth enamel. This is an indication that tooth demineralization and decay is beginning to take place. First, the laser is calibrated in several areas of healthy tooth enamel for a baseline reading. Then, the laser is scanned over areas including deep grooves and pits in the chewing surfaces of the back teeth – areas that have a high risk of decay. As the digital readout changes, your dentist or hygienist can identify areas where the decay process may be starting. An audible alert may be noted on the machine if density changes are outside the parameters of a healthy range. If caught soon enough, an extremely small filling can be placed that will result in less tooth preparation. Or, the area can be sealed off completely to prevent the condition from advancing.
Laser decay detection doesn’t eliminate the need for important exams and x-rays, but it does help to preserve the integrity of your smile, keep your cost of care down, and limit the invasiveness of necessary treatments.
Posted on behalf of:
Green Dental of Alexandria
1725 Duke St
Alexandria, VA 22314
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