Diagnodent is a new technology used to detect cavities, allowing your dentist to find even the smallest areas of concern - even if they aren't showing up on visual exams and X-rays. This diagnostic tool is said to be over 90% accurate, and by exposing cavities earlier, more effective treatment methods are available.
How Does Diagnodent Work?
To use Diagnodent, your dentist will slide a light over your teeth via a small, handheld unit. This device emits an audio signal, and a number will pop up on a digital read-on. This number can help to identify if cavities are hiding below the surface of the tooth.
The higher the number is - which indicates fluorescence - the greater the degree of decay that is hidden within the tooth.
Does Diagnodent Hurt?
Not at all. Diagnodent is a completely painless procedure, and the beam of light is harmless to the teeth, gums, and other surrounding tissues.
Will You Still Need X-Rays?
Diagnodent can reduce the need for dental x-rays in some cases, but in other circumstances, your dentist might use the two technologies to complement each other.
Diagnodent is a good option for finding cavities on the biting surface of the tooth, while X-rays are still the best option for finding cavities that are hidden on the roots or in between the teeth where your dentist won't be able to see.
Can Diagnodent Be Used Around Existing Restorations?
It depends on what the restorations are made out of. Some composite resins can cause fluorescence, and this could lead to elevated readings.
Additionally, in cases of decay that might be under existing silver filling, the new technology will only provide an accurate reading if the decay is found in the margin. Otherwise, if it's located under the amalgam, it won't be picked up.