In most cases, prevention is the best way to protect your smile from issues like tooth decay and cavities. But with tooth decay affecting over 90% of adults in the United States, it’s apparent that prevention isn’t always 100% successful. Therefore, the next best thing is to catch a cavity early, before it can cause significant damage to your tooth. With the advanced DIAGNOdent early cavity detection system, your dentist can spot a cavity that’s already developed long before it becomes obvious.
Why Early Detection is Important
Tooth decay is largely the result of excessive plaque and tartar buildup. The oral bacteria in plaque and tartar convert sugar and carbs into acids, which compromise tooth enamel so the bacteria can reach the body of the tooth. When the infection takes hold, it will grow progressively worse, causing an increasingly larger cavity. At your routine checkup, however, your dentist can spot early signs of enamel erosion even if decay hasn’t settled into the tooth structure yet. DIAGNOdent highlights the weak areas of enamel so we can help you prevent the need for a large filling and preserve a maximum amount of your healthy tooth structure.
How DIAGNOdent Works
The enamel surrounding your teeth is made almost entirely of mineral crystals (mainly calcium and phosphate). When oral bacteria attack, they deplete your teeth of these minerals to weaken the enamel. DIAGNOdent is an advanced diode laser that reads reflective wavelengths to detect demineralized areas of tooth enamel. The laser, combined with annual digital X-rays, can warn you and your dentist to keep an especially close eye on the tooth, or keep your treatment conservative, before a cavity delves too deep.