The key to preventing tooth loss due to decay is early detection. Dentists use a wide variety of tools to identify cavities, decay, and plaque, some of which include the traditional pick, probe, mirror, and X-ray machines. The sooner decay is spotted, the easier it is to fix. However, there are new devices dentists are using to identify tooth decay.
According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIH), tooth decay (known medically as caries), is one of the most common types of chronic diseases. While the number of overall cases has declined over the past four decades, tooth decay remains a serious problem that people shouldn’t ignore. Allowing tooth decay to persist without professional dental care can result in tooth abscess, gum disease, infection, tooth loss, and even jawbone loss in very serious cases.
New technology that uses x-rays along with other spectrums of light and special software now puts a lot more power in the hands of dentists. For example, one handheld tool known as Spectra uses advances ultraviolet light to detect tooth decay. The dentist or an assistant runs the wand-like device over the patient’s teeth. Normally, it shines a green light on the tooth’s enamel. But when the device shines on a part of the tooth suffering from decay, the light will turn red, indicating the presence of a cavity.
One piece of cutting-edge technology we now have at the office is the Planmeca ProMax 3D Mid. This brand new machine takes extremely detailed dental x-rays without needing the patient to bite down on uncomfortable sensors, all while using less radiation. This kind of technology is not only convenient for the patient, but it also gives doctors much more detailed information from which to base treatment decisions.
It’s important to note that technology such as this is not going to replace traditional cavity detection tools and techniques, nor does it intend to. Instead, it will offer dentists one more tool for gathering information before a potential problem progresses into something more severe.
Tired of being uncomfortable in the dentist’s chair? Schedule an appointment today with Little Rock Family Dental Care. Our doctors and staff use the latest technology to make your visit more comfortable and to provide you with the best possible care.