What if tooth decay is hidden within the enamel so that it isn’t visible on a radiograph? We don’t want to wait until the decay is big enough to hurt or cause a huge cavity so we use the DIAGNOdent. This device uses laser wavelengths to shine light into the tooth and measure the reflection. Healthy enamel surfaces will have low readings and no audible beeping, whereas decay hidden in the tooth creates higher readings and an audible sound that increases according to the severity of the decay.
This tool has surprised us many times, finding extensive decay in otherwise normal-looking teeth which, when explored, is actually much bigger than what was indicated on the radiographs or visible on the surface of the tooth! By using this tool, we are able to target and treat tooth decay in predictable ways before it turns into more complicated problems.