The DIAGNOdent Laser Cavity Detection System is a quartz tipped probe (approximately pen-sized) that is scanned across the teeth with a rocking motion, beaming a wavelength of pulsed light into each crevice, nook, and cranny on the surfaces. The aim is to identify areas of demineralization by measuring fluorescence (reflected light). The more a tooth – or a spot on a tooth – fluoresces, the greater the demineralization. The fluorescence is calibrated both in numbers and an audio signal. The higher the number (ranging from 0 to 99) and the higher the pitch, the deeper the decay. DIAGNOdent targets the unseen decay for the dentist.
What’s more, this “low-power” diode laser (not unlike the lasers in CD players and laser pointers) is entirely safe and radiation-free. It doesn’t require protective goggles. It reveals both early decay and spots that show potential for decay. This gives the option for early intervention, stopping the decay process before it reaches the point of no return, which is the dentin lying beneath the tooth’s surface enamel. Or, if it’s already reached the dentin layer, the part of the tooth that needs to be drilled away can be minimized, preserving precious tooth structure.