Advanced Laser Diagnostics: Diagnodent

Posted by Seattle Dental Care Mar 07, 2016

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!

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