A Revolutionary Way to Spot Decay

One of the most important things we do for our patients is to identify areas of decay and fill cavities. Since even the smallest spot can threaten the integrity of the entire tooth, detecting and stopping the spread of decay is key to preventing further problems of all kinds. Historically, that's why lengthy poking and prodding sessions have been a necessary, though not comfortable, part of typical dental exams. However, you may be surprised to learn that such 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. However, there's now a revolutionary, new cavity detection technology that's incredibly fast, unbeatably thorough, and nearly imperceptible to the patient: DIAGNOdent.

Laser Light Shows What's Not Right
DIAGNOdent technology uses a simple laser diode to inspect your teeth, comparing reflection wavelength against a known healthy baseline wavelength to reveal decay. How? First, we aim the laser onto one of your healthy enamel tooth surfaces to give us a benchmark reading. Then, we continue 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 Means Near Perfection  
Using DIAGNOdent technology allows us to catch more areas of decay sooner and with more precision. In fact, we're finding that we uncover up to 70% more cavities than we could previously. So you can leave our office knowing with confidence that we've caught and stopped any decay. And of course, this early detection means that cavities are still quite small, requiring only simple, shallow fillings and allowing minimally invasive filling procedures such as drill-free air abrasion. Further, DIAGNOdent requires no x-rays, and is a relatively comfortable procedure. Finally, it helps us reveal even slightly suspicious areas, allowing us to objectively monitor them without repeated x-rays, tissue irritation, or need for protective measures.

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5938 West Parker Road, Plano, Texas 75093