How Does A Laser Help Dentists Spot Decay?

Detecting cavities when they first begin appearing is one of the primary goals of dentists. By doing this, they are able to spot small problems and fix them before they turn into big problems. One way this is done is with the use of a laser. Dentists use lasers as an additional way to find cavities, and here are several things to know about lasers for cavity detection.

Why are lasers used?

Most dentists use several methods for finding cavities, and this includes physically examining your teeth and taking x-rays. These methods are very common and can help dentists find around 57% of cavities on teeth. A dental laser, on the other hand, may be capable of helping dentists find around 90% of cavities on teeth. Detecting cavities is the first step towards treating them, and treating cavities is vital for keeping a person's teeth healthy.

How do they work?

A dental laser is a small hand-held device dentists aim at a person's teeth. As this occurs, the laser emits light, and the dentist must carefully examine the teeth as this light is shining on them. The light from the laser reflects differently on teeth that are healthy than on teeth that have decay. This is because the structure of a healthy tooth is different from that of a damaged tooth, and the differences are easy for a dentist to see when using a laser.

The laser then produces readings of teeth, and these readings help dentists find areas where the light reflected differently. A dentist can then thoroughly examine any areas that appear to have cavities. In some cases, dentists are able to use lasers to spot areas that are about to form cavities, which is even better than waiting for a cavity to form.

Is this necessary?

Lasers are a great way to find cavities in teeth, but dentists that do not use lasers for this purpose are still able to find and treat cavities. The only difference is that when dentists use lasers, they are able to find cavities sooner than they would without the use of a laser.

You have a lot of control over the health of your teeth, and you can keep your teeth healthy by eating right and brushing your teeth often. Visiting a dentist regularly is also an important step for good oral care. To learn more, contact a dentist in your area (like John Shea DDS).