The dentist says you’re cavity free and you feel pretty darned pleased about it. All that brushing and flossing and watching what you eat paid off and this is your reward. Right? Don’t be so sure. Because if what you had was an old fashioned “pick” and x-ray exam, those tiny, hidden cavities your dentist just missed could be growing into a painful and expensive problems.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Today there are super accurate, FDA-approved laser scanners that can find the most COMMONLY MISSED cavities – even tiny ones — while they’re quick, painless and inexpensive to repair.
No More Cavity Hide and Seek
So how could so many dentists be so wrong so often? Until recently, we just didn’t have to tools to get it right. You see, cavities often begin deep in the pits and grooves of your teeth – places the best picks just can’t get to. Even x-rays miss these small cavities – They’re simply in a location that x-rays just can’t “see.” So those tiny cavities grow and grow until they’re large enough to be detected. Which means they’re also large enough to need potentially uncomfortable, time-consuming and hard-on-the-wallet dental visits to fix.
100% Accurate Exams
Fortunately those dark ages of dentistry are over, thanks to a device the FDA has certified 100% accurate at finding even the smallest cavities. A type of compact diode laser scanner, this exciting new diagnostic device shines a laser beam onto your teeth — right into those pits and fissures and grooves where traditional picks just can’t go. That laser light is then reflected out, measured by special receptors and compared to the light reflected by healthy teeth. The scanner uses this information to give the dentist a precise digital read-out that shows where cavities are – plus it produces a tone that varies depending on their size. In other words, it makes it just about impossible for a dentist to miss even the smallest cavity.
Avoid the Drill
So what does all mean for you? Simply this – thanks to our laser scanner, we can now find cavities so early we can usually take care of them quickly and painlessly with new comfortable alternatives to the conventional traditional drill. In fact, since I started using my laser cavity scanner I find I’m using my drill a whole lot less and I’m using a TON less dental freezing because my patients just don’t need it. So instead, we can use either a different dental laser or a mini-air abrasion device to clean out these small cavities very comfortably without freezing!
Peace of Mind
Frankly, drilling teeth – or, worse, doing root canals – is my least favorite part of being a dentist. I’d much rather keep my patients’ mouths healthy by catching cavities early while they’re easy, painless and inexpensive to fix. Now doesn’t that sound better than wondering whether a small, undetected cavity is getting ready to cause you real problems?
Dr. Andrea Stevens is a cosmetic and family dentist in practice in Kanata, Ontario. If you have dental questions, you can call her at 613.271.7091.