Today we wanted to talk about something that we use here in the office when we diagnose treatment. This particular instrument is called Diagnodent and it is a laser specifically used to measure density in the tooth. When we shine the laser light onto tooth structure, the light is then reflected back into the device and gives us a reading of how dense the tooth is. A loss in density means decay is starting. When we look at the readings, anything under 20 on the scale is considered a “watch tooth”. We mark it on the chart to recheck this tooth at your next exam. Anything over a 20 is considered needing treatment, which could mean something as simple as a composite filling, or something more involved such as an onlay or a crown. This device is helpful because sometimes decay is not visible to the naked eye, or even under magnification! And x-rays can only show us about 30% of non-visible decay, so having the Diagnodent is a useful tool for early detection of decay, and for “seeing” what we cant see!