We have been using laser cavity detection technology since it was introduced. The following article explains how laser dentistry is used to detect and fight oral decay:
Morning Edition, July 11, 2005 –
A lot of research in the field of dentistry has been devoted to early detection of cavities over the last 20 years. New technologies are promising to find cavities that were once tough to locate.
Have you ever been to the beach and watched the “entrepreneurial treasure hunters” with metal detectors? I have never participated in this activity, but assume people are looking for more than just quarters or silver dollars. I have heard stories that lost wedding rings have been found and sometimes things of even GREATER value.
But I digress….
Laser technology has come a long way. NOW, we can use lasers to do more than just cut, or destroy death stars. Lasers can now detect dental decay, in its earliest stages. This is beneficial, since restoring a tooth that is only missing a small fraction of structure is much more successful than when a large amount of tooth is broken. A small filling has a longer success pattern than large crowns. Laser cavity detection allows us to discover decay that is beyond our reach. Traditionally, dentists use a “pick” to detect decay. If the sharp end “sticks” then decay is present, however, decay must be large enough to GET the stick. Also, the morphology (or the shape) of teeth today is different than in days gone by. Due to many factors, including fluoridation of water and toothpastes, the grooves of teeth are much deeper and steeper than before. Decay can grow unabated and undetected until it is so large that root canal therapy may be the first treatment the tooth ever gets.
The ultimate goal is to do as little as possible to teeth. It is said, “The best dentistry is NO dentistry,” and while that doesn’t help the business of dental care, the benefit to teeth is undeniable. Finding decay in its earliest levels is the best that a dentist can offer.
The benefits of using lasers in modern dentistry are many. The ability to perform even the most difficult of procedures with minimal invasion, with less pain, and with decreased recovery time. Contact us to learn more.
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