Laser Cavity Detection

Our office was the first in the area to offer this new technology for early detection of cavities.

The Kavo Diagnodent system uses a laser to detect fluorescence in enamel and dentin. Healthy tooth structure shows very little fluorescence, but decayed tooth structure does fluoresce. Measurements from the Diagnodent help Dr. Padula determine whether to monitor suspect areas over time, treat them with preventive therapy, or restore them. The system allows much earlier detection of decay than previously possible.

In the past we’ve used explorers, magnification, x-rays and cavity detecting solutions to diagnose decay, but studies on extracted teeth show that early decay is still missed. By utilizing this system in addition to our conventional techniques we are able to detect decay much earlier, before it gets larger or painful.

This cavity detection technology and air abrasion really work well together. We can detect decay when it’s just starting, and then with high magnification and air abrasion we can remove only the diseased tooth structure. With the drill we used to have to remove a lot of healthy tooth structure also. After decay is removed, we can then bond a tooth-colored restoration in place. Studies show that with these techniques, the tooth will be as strong after the restoration as a natural tooth.