One of the most difficult situations arise among dentists when confronted with a new patient who says “I haven’t had a cavity in 20 years!…” at the beginning of the new patient exam. After careful evaluation of the patient’s x-rays, teeth and periodontal (gums and supporting structure) several small cavities are found. This is a typical situation that may arise if the previous dentist was not using an early cavity detection device such as the Diagnodent.
The Diagnodent is a wonderful tool that has been used in our office for several years now. The Diagnodent is a pen-like probe that sends a safe, painless laser beam into the tooth and checks its health. A number scale and an alarm will signal when there are signs of hidden decay which allows us to determine if decay is lurking beneath the apparently healthy tooth surface.
By using such a device early cavities are found years prior to discovering them through x-rays or visually in which these cavities would have progressed to a more complex situation requiring more extensive and costly treatment. Using such a device can save money and discomfort by getting to cavities when they are very small often requiring minimal treatment.