One of the advantages of being a modern dental patient is that your dentist has the ability to detect tooth decay without the need for poking and prodding your enamel with dental picks. This is in part because we have developed so many new cavity detection technologies that allow us to tell when decay is affecting your teeth without physically probing them.
At Dental Excellence of Blue Bell, we have three different technologies that can help us find cavities.
The intraoral camera is a fiber optic camera that allows us to take highly detailed digital images of your mouth. This is great because it allows you see what we see when we are looking in your mouth. You don’t have to take our word about the amount of damage or need for treatment.
The intraoral camera can also be used to detect cavities because it has a blacklight that can be used to induce fluorescence (basically, a glow) in your teeth. Healthy areas will glow more, but areas that are decayed glow less.
DIAGNOdent uses a similar principle, but it uses a laser light. Because the light is very specific, it results in a comparably specific fluorescence in areas with cavities. DIAGNOdent registers the strength of emission of light that is likely coming from cavities to detect whether certain regions of the tooth are decayed. It has the ability to detect cavities that are large below the surface, but only have small openings.
CariVu is our latest cavity detection technology, and we’re very excited about its promise. This technology has a hand piece that fits over your tooth so that two bright lights sit on either side shine inward. A digital camera shows the light passing through the tooth.
Healthy tooth enamel lets most light pass through. It shows up as a pale, ghostly outline. Damaged or decayed enamel doesn’t let as much light through, so it looks darker grey or black on the screen, depending on the nature of the problem. And we can put this image up on the screen so that you can also see what’s going on with your tooth and why we may be recommending treatment.
Although these technologies are great, they are only as good as their user. But when you put them in the hands of an experienced dentist like Dr. Ken Siegel in Blue Bell, they help us to detect and treat decay earlier or recommend changes in oral hygiene to prevent damage.
To learn how we can help you, please call (610) 272-0828 today for an appointment at Dental Excellence of Blue Bell.