Because of the prevalent use of fluoride in toothpaste, mouthwash and drinking water, plus it’s beneficial ability to harden tooth enamel, it is getting more difficult to detect cavities. This is because decay needs to find its way to the inner tooth through tiny cracks in the enamel that can be hard to see even in dental X-ray radiography. It is estimated that only 57 percent of cavities are found by using manual probing and X-rays alone, whereas the laser cavity detector is said to be able to find suspicious areas 90 percent of the time.
Our dentist uses a pen-like instrument to detect cavities by beaming laser light onto the teeth. Simply put, laser light can efficiently penetrate and identify healthy teeth, whereas a compromised tooth will hamper the laser light as it passes through a dental cavity. The machine can actually measure the density of your tooth structure and calculate how much tooth decay is going on. Thus, our dentist will see a readout and be notified of compromised areas when the machine beeps.
This gives us advanced notice of problem areas before they can become issues, and may even keep you from having to have more expensive dental work done in the future.
If you have questions about laser cavity detection, call Dr. Virginia Sharpe and our helpful team at Sharpe Dental Studio in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Phone: 505-982-4686.