Dental cavities are often very sneaky, especially when they occur in the deeply ridged biting surfaces of the back teeth. Diagnosing these can be challenging because the disease process can start through microscopic defects in the hard surface enamel, and then readily spread into the tooth structure beneath the surface. Meanwhile, the external surface of the tooth still appears to be healthy. X-rays and probing with a dental explorer are simply unreliable in detecting sub-surface decay, particularly when it is in its early stages.
In our office, we employ the very latest diagnostic tool: a laser fluorescence cavity detector. This device is a pen like probe that glides over the tooth structure and emits a thin stream of laser light. The electronic box connected to the probe measures the depth of penetration of the laser on a number scale and an alarm signals when there are signs of hidden decay. In this manner, we are able to detect decay in the very beginning stages. What's more, this technology is completely safe and pain-free.
What does this mean to you, the patient? Well first of all, it means that your dental cavities are discovered when they are very small. The resultant filling is much smaller and preserves more of your good tooth structure. So you will save tooth structure, with no discomfort, and you will save time.