Dental Tips Blog


Do Lasers Actually Impact Decay Detection?

Posted in Laser Dentistry

In the past, cavities were always caught by your dentist seeing them clinically, feeling the tooth surface with a thin explorer, or by identifying enamel changes on X-Rays taken of the tooth. Now there’s a new way to catch cavities and well before they ever even cause symptoms or significant structural problems: the laser.

Laser decay detection uses light and sound waves to assess the density of your tooth enamel in areas of increased risk. Examples include the deep pits and fissures that are on the chewing surfaces of your teeth, or extend along the sides of back teeth. These areas are often so microscopic that even an exam tool or toothbrush bristle cannot enter into them. However, bacteria and cavities can!

The laser is calibrated along a strong, healthy area of your tooth and then placed over the pit or fissure to read the density using sound waves. Density readings that come back at a significantly different level will indicate that a cavity is beginning to destroy the enamel inside of the microscopic pit. Diagnosis at this level happens months before the cavity can develop into something large enough to be seen other ways.

These findings are significant for your teeth as well as your budget! When cavities are found in these smallest stages, the tooth can be repaired before other enamel has a chance to decay. Ultimately the filling is much less smaller and the tooth isn’t exposed to as much alternation, or it may only require a sealant. Some fillings can even be done without anesthesia!

Is your dentist using lasers to screen for cavities? The entire process takes only a few minutes. You’ll have to see it to believe it!

Posted on behalf of:
Group Health Dental
230 W 41st St
New York, NY 10036
(212) 398-9690

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