Is it caries? Or is it a healthy tooth? Dentists often experience anxiety when attempting to diagnose the phenomenon known as hidden caries. A suspicious-looking tooth presents a treatment dilemma for dentists. Should the tooth be opened up? Can we place a sealant over it? What if no caries is found? Should the tooth just be watched? Or does that give caries more time to destroy the tooth’s structure? In the case of hidden caries, traditional diagnostic methods all too frequently yield indeterminate results. If you can’t detect a sub-surface lesion, how can you treat it?
A Changing Caries Model
Due to fluoridation, caries has gone “underground.” While helping to improve the oral health of many Americans, fluoridation has resulted in harder tooth enamel. Incipient caries lesions that once began on the tooth’s surface have now migrated below the surface.
Proven Clinical Results
Treatment decisions require a higher degree of certainty. The DIAGNOdent laser caries detection aid reduces the doubt from treatment decisions regarding hidden caries or questionable stained grooves. The device’s ability to aid in seeing into occlusal pits and fissures enables dentists to treat sub-surface caries lesions with confidence. The DIAGNOdent is a diagnostic device that aids the dentist in making treatment decisions with confidence. Unlike traditional diagnostic methods, DIAGNOdent is an extremely accurate and reliable adjunct for the detection of subsurface caries. It removes the guesswork that accompanies many treatment decisions regarding questionable areas, such as stained or discolored grooves.
Using only an explorer and bitewing X-rays, a dentist is poorly equipped to detect incipient caries lesions.With an explorer, it is virtually impossible to probe drop-shaped fissures, looking for a “stick”. Bitewing X-rays also have limitations as a diagnostic tool when confronted with the elusiveness of hidden caries. While bitewing X-rays can identify larger areas of decay, small sub-surface caries lesions are rarely detected.
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