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Three Newer Technologies that Can Find Cavities Earlier than Ever

Posted on 5/25/2016 by Dr. Andrew Zeiger
A diagnodent machine used to detect cavities.The field of dentistry is constantly evolving, making it easier than ever to find cavities quickly.

By using some of these new systems, cavities can be detected and treated early on in order to minimize the amount of treatment needed.

Quantitative Light-Induced Fluorescence

Also known as QLF, this technology is one of the newest options, and it uses a light source, fluorescent dye, and camera. The camera will take an image of each tooth, and specialized software will analyze the images to provide information about the loss of minerals.

This technology can detect early decay in both the permanent and the baby teeth, as well as early decay that is located near the crowns, fillings, and orthodontic hardware.


DIAGNOdent is a diagnostic imaging tool that uses lasers to collect information by shining a handheld tool onto each tooth. This laser beam is then absorbed by each tooth and will leave it as fluorescent light. While a solid structure will give off minimal fluorescent light, bacteria and damaged portions will give off more.

Studies have shown that use of this technology can diagnose decay early in the under layers of the tooth before cavities can develop in the enamel.


DIFOTI, or Digital Imaging Fiber-Optic Trans-Illumination, uses computer technology to collect images of the teeth while a light is shined from behind them. Softened tooth areas will appear darker than the healthy areas, so dentists use the images to detect problems. This technology is similar to an X-ray image, but it doesn't use radiation.

However, collecting an image with DIFOTI will require more time than an X-ray because of the accuracy needed when placing the camera on each tooth.

Do you think that you might have a cavity forming? Contact our office about options that might be available to check out your teeth.

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