When it comes to dental care, preventing problems before they start is always preferable to treating them at a later date. Early detection of complications such as tooth decay and gum disease can prevent them from developing into more serious conditions as well as saving you money on dental bills. Although regular examinations and X-rays can spot the majority of dental problems, microscopic cracks or dents in the tooth surface can lead to cavities developing inside the tooth that are often missed during routine check-ups.
This has led to many dentists investing in new technology such as the DIAGNOdent laser tool that has the ability to spot tooth cavities in their early stages even if there are no outward signs of decay.
The DIAGNOdent laser tool allows dentists to check for bacteria within a tooth without the need for invasive surgery. The tool works by measuring the amount of laser fluorescence within each tooth. Teeth that are free from cracks, decay or bacteria will not exhibit any fluorescence as the laser passes over them, whereas those that are decaying from within will fluoresce and alert the dentist to the presence of bacteria or damage to the tooth’s surface. The dentist will pass a small handheld laser over each tooth and check the reading on the instrument to determine whether or not it requires treatment. The entire process is quick and painless and far safer than traditional diagnostic procedures such as X-rays.
All of us carry a great deal of bacteria in our mouth that can form into a layer of plaque on the surface of the teeth if proper dental hygiene is not practiced. Consuming sweets, cakes and sugary drinks feeds the bacteria which attacks the tooth enamel causing cavities. Once bacteria and decay has penetrated below the surface of the tooth, it can cause a whole host of problems such as pain, loss of teeth, gum disease or a dental abscess. Symptoms of tooth decay include pain, discoloration of the tooth, sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures and chips or cracks in the tooth.
Technology such as the DIAGNOdent will help you to avoid invasive procedures such as root canals and tooth extraction. It is also ideal for young children and those who are nervous about attending dental appointments as it is completely safe and does not require any scratching or probing to the teeth or gums. Everyone is at risk of tooth decay, but there are certain risk factors that make some people more susceptible. Children, the elderly, those who consume large amounts of sugar and those who do not practice good oral hygiene are far more likely to develop cavities in their teeth. People who suffer from heartburn and acid reflux also stand a greater chance of experiencing tooth decay as acid from the stomach can destroy tooth enamel. You can prevent most cases of tooth decay by taking good care of your teeth and gums and attending regular dental examinations.