Today I was working away and I heard a familiar sound, the sound a Diagnodent makes when you take a cavity detecting reading on a tooth. It was on the screen of a TV airing the Dr. Oz show. He was doing an oral health segment and was talking about what a great device it is.
We’ve been using one for about four years now, and what a great tool it is for diagnosing decay. The diagnodent shoots a harmless low level laser beam onto a tooth and shows a digital readout from 1 to 99. Any reading higher than 30 is considered decay.
In four years of use I’ve never had a false positive reading. No kidding.
It is really useful for cavity detection in children because we can catch cavities while they are small and restore them. Prior to the introduction of this instrument we determined a cavity by sticking a pointy instrument called an explorer into a suspicious pit or fissure in a tooth, if it stuck in the tooth we considered it a cavity. Sometimes a cavity had to get pretty big for the explorer to stick and we would miss early stage decay. With the Diagnodent we don’t miss them.