Employee Benefits

Laser Technology Assists Dentists in Detecting Cavities


Many people put off going to the dentist until they have a toothache. According to the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, at least 9 percent to 15 percent of Americans avoid seeing the dentist due to anxiety and fear. Many are both afraid the dentist will find multiple cavities and are uncomfortable with the tools used to check tooth surfaces. Now a new laser technology device, called a DIAGNOdent, makes it easier for dental professionals to detect cavities without the use of traditional dental tools.

Untreated Tooth Decay Can Lead to Serious Dental Complications
Tooth decay and cavities, also known as dental caries, are the most prevalent chronic disease in adults and children, even though they are largely preventable. The American Dental Association reports that about one-fourth of adults, ages 20 to 64, and at least 15 percent of children, ages 6 to 19, have untreated caries. Decay can lead to an infection in the tooth, which if left untreated can lead to more serious dental health complications, resulting in a root canal or tooth extraction.

New Dental Laser Technology Detects Tooth Decay with Light
The DIAGNOdent provides a harmless laser light that detects elevated fluorescents in teeth. High amounts of fluorescents are an indication of bacteria or a cavity. Research indicates that the DIAGNOdent readings are at least 90 percent accurate. The DIAGNOdent laser identifies decay in an early stage, which is not apparent during a visual inspection or found with a dental probe. With this new technology, the decay can be treated quickly and efficiently, enabling the dentist to save the tooth surface, and spare the patient unnecessary discomfort.

Learn more about new laser dental technology and dental anxiety.