Dental Tips Blog

Dec
31

How Dentists Diagnose Cavities

Apparently, you have another cavity. But you don’t see anything there. You’re not entirely convinced the dentist isn’t making this up.

Before you jump to conclusions, keep in mind that a dentist is trained to pick up on tooth decay long before it turns into an ugly brown hole in your tooth.

How do dentists detect cavities? Here are a few of the main ways.

Classic Exploration

Those scary metal hooks the dentist “pokes” your teeth with are called explorers. The fine tipped instruments are very sensitive. With years of practice, your dentist can skim the tip of the tool over your tooth and notice unusually soft spots indicative of decay.

Lasers

More and more dental offices are incorporating the use of special lasers that ping back a result when they scan weakened tooth enamel. These lasers really come in handy when checking for cavities in the back teeth during your six-month dental visits.

X-Rays

Yearly x-rays are taken almost entirely because of cavities. A regular set of bitewing images helps the dentist see in-between your teeth where no one else can. Dark triangles in the enamel at the point where neighboring teeth touch mean that there is decay going on.

Dye

Some dentists use a non-toxic dye to check for signs of decay. This usually comes in handy when he or she is cleaning a cavity from a tooth and wants to make sure it’s completely gone before placing the filling.

Through routine dental cleanings and checkups, your dentist will make note of areas that are prime to develop decay and alert you to them. You will then get recommendations for treatment like fluoride or sealants to help you avoid cavities altogether. Schedule your routine dental examination today!

Posted on behalf of:
Salt Run Family Dentistry
700 Anastasia Blvd
St. Augustine, FL 32080
(904) 824-3540

Mar
13

Early Cavity Detection With DIAGNOdent

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if cavities could be discovered before they became a complicated problem requiring invasive treatment to preserve the tooth? So often, your teeth have questionable stained or grooved areas. Places that might be the beginning of a cavity or might not. Fortunately, there’s a new diagnostic tool that identifies cavities accurately and early, reducing the occurrence of fillings.

What Is DIAGNOdent?

DIAGNOdent is a laser that, your dentist, can use to quickly and accurately detect cavities. The uses fluoresce, alerting your dentist to a cavity that’s just beginning to form. This early detection allows minimal therapy to be used to remedy the tooth, sometimes with drill-free fillings or even a sealant.

Why Use DIAGNOdent?

Regular checkups are important to maintain good oral health. Your checkup will include a thorough dental exam, dental cleaning and x-rays. Your checkup combined with DIAGNOdent, can help you enjoy a beautiful, healthy smile much longer. So why choose early cavity detection by laser?

  • Did you know that as much as 50% of tooth decay is missed by conventional techniques, due to its extremely small size? DIAGNOdent offers superior technology to catch even the tiniest cavity.
  • Early detection of cavities means less invasive, and more affordable treatments to restore your tooth.
  • It minimizes the need for additional x-rays in some areas.
  • This pen-like device appears non-threatening for younger patients and is pain free.

With its many advantages, DIAGNOdent is gaining popularity as the preferred method for cavity detection. Next time you visit your dentist, ask about the advantages of DIAGNOdent! Call today to schedule an appointment.

Posted on behalf of:
Park South Dentistry
30 Central Park S #13C
New York, NY 10019
(212) 355-2000

Feb
13

How Are Cavities Detected?

Posted in Fillings

Cavity detention is a unique combination of technology coupled with the observation skills of a highly trained and experienced dentist.  In most cases the dentist will use a combination of techniques and not rely completely on the technology or observation.

Technology based methods include various types of x-rays, cavity detecting dye, and various laser fluorescence cavity detection aids.  X-Rays are able to detect decay on both the enamel of the tooth, as well as the deeper dentin.  Advancements in x-ray technology include digital x-rays, 3D x-rays as well as panoramic x-rays.  Cavity detecting dye works because it bonds to decay, while it washes off of healthy teeth.

The presence of the dye in specific areas of a tooth, identify areas of probable decay, requiring closer examination by the dentist.   Laser cavity detection works by measuring changes to the tooth surface caused by decay.  This technology allows the detection of cavities, before they are visible to other means of cavity detection.

Observation relies of the dentist poking around it the patient’s mouth with a variety of tools including the dental explorer and a mirror.  During the exam, the dentist will be able to detect decay visually due to a slight discoloration of the tooth, if decay is present.  In addition, the dentist will use the explorer, which is like a hooked pick, to probe the patient’s teeth for decay.  In general, the tip of the explorer will be able to penetrate the decay slightly.

The advancements in technology, as well as the observation techniques of a experienced dentist, has made it possible to detect tooth decay earlier than ever, making treatment less painful and less expensive for the patient!

Posted on behalf of Dan Myers

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