Patient: “I have been to my last dentist every six months for as long as I can remember and he never said that I had any cavities and now you say I have SIX! How can that be?”
Dentist: “Actually when you use a traditional instrument and poke around the teeth there must be an actual hole or “cavity” in the outer enamel and the inner layer of dentin must be soft allowing the instrument to “stick” in the tooth. Our DIAGNODENT laser finds tooth decay below the enamel before the outer enamel breaks away.”
Which of these teeth have decay?
They all do.
Using only a dental pick and X-rays, a dentist is poorly equipped to detect hidden decay.
While a pick and bitewing X-rays can identify larger areas of decay, small sub-surface lesions are rarely detected.
Finding and fixing this decay is important because a small lesion is less expensive. The longevity of a repair is directly related to its size. Finding and fixing problems when they are small will postpone or eliminate less conservative and more expensive procedures in the future.