The widespread use of fluoride has made the surface of teeth so hard the process of dental decay has changed. Cavities are smaller on the surface of the tooth, but can mushroom beneath the surface. Bacteria can penetrate seemingly intact enamel and reach the softer dentin layer where they spread rapidly towards the pulp of the tooth.
The Diagnodent uses a small laser to help us diagnose decay earlier than before. With traditional diagnostic techniques, the instruments used are sometimes too large to fit into the small grooves to give us a tactile sense of whether decay exists or not. Diagnodent allows us to see a digital readout quantifying the amount of decay which may be present. The Diagnodent wand is passed over the entire chewing surface and is completely painless.
The value of diagnosing decay early cannot be overestimated! With early detection, treatment can be less invasive and more comfortable than ever before. In many cases, early diagnosis of decay on the chewing surface of a tooth allows us to repair the decay without anesthetic and with minimal drilling.