The Diagodent is an amazing tool that uses a laser to help us detect small areas of tooth decay. Nearly everyone has little grooves on the top or sides of your teeth. These grooves have stumped dentists for decades. In the past we had to diagnose tooth decay by sticking a sharp instrument into the grooves to see if it was ‘sticky’. The problem with this method was decay had to be wider than the instrument! Now we can detect decay when it is smaller than a needle point!
The Diagnodent measures the density of enamel using laser light. Using a ratio of reflected light, a numeric value is assigned to the groove. If that ratio reaches a certain threshold, we know its time to open the grooves and seal them. However, if it’s below that number we may be able to remineralize the enamel, and never have to fill it!
Most of the fillings detected early by the Diagnodent can be treated without a shot and without a drill, by using the Waterlase Dental Laser, or the KCP (Kinetic Cavity Preparation). By finding these cavities early, we help patients avoid deep fillings, root canals, crowns and even tooth extractions. In dentistry, prevention and early treatment are the key to maintaining a healthy smile for a lifetime.