New adjunct methods of caries detection: lasers and transillumination
We believe that early and accurate diagnosis of tooth decay and fractures is key to proper care for our patients. In addition to digital X-rays and our thorough clinical exams, we have other technology that can help diagnose issues that are hard to detect on exam or unclear on X-rays.
Comfortable, Laser-Assisted Cavity Detection
The traditional way to detect tooth decay was by touching the surface of the teeth with a metal probe. If the metal probe stuck, that meant there was decay and a cavity that needed attention.
Using DIAGNOdent laser technology, Los Altos Dentists Dr. Diamond and Dr. McBirney can detect early tooth decay using a high-tech method that helps us find even the smallest cavities. The laser probe detects cavities at their early stages, which can mean preserving more of your natural tooth structure. And, the laser is painless!
The DIAGNOdent laser-assisted caries detection system is great for detecting decay deep in the grooves of back teeth, and differentiating decay from harmless stain. The small device shines a harmless, low intensity laser into the groove of the tooth, and outputs a numerical value based on refracted light. Generally, a value of 20 or higher suggests possible decay in the tooth.