Diagnodent finds hidden cavities

Many of our readers may already be familiar with the new Diagnodent tool in our rooms. It has become a part of every check-up as a means of detecting future dental concerns.

Traditionally, when dentists were looking for holes in your teeth they used a dental pick. The first picture on the left illustrates how these can fail to identify the true depth of existing cavities in your teeth. This had little to do with the skill of the dentist, and a lot to do with how cavities grow.


Research has shown that because it often can’t reach into where the new cavity begins, we (dentists and hygienists) were missing 76% of the most common cavities. Which means that 3 out of 4 times we were saying that things were fine, when in reality, we had actually missed diagnosing the cavity.

By the time it was identified, the cavity had grown sufficiently to require a full dental filling, or further treatment.

In the second picture (right), the Diagnodent, or ‘Laser Cavity Scanner’ uses a high-tech beam of laser light to reach down into areas that the ‘pick’ or ‘explorer’ was simply unable to access.

Diagnosis is instant, accurate, and 100% comfortable and there is no sensation at all from the laser diagnostic, unlike the pick. Any reading on the machine above 20 is a hole.

We suggest to patients to get it fixed now rather than waiting for the hole to grow bigger, but the option is always in your hands.

So we at FirstBite Dental will be using this in all exams from now on to make our diagnosis a step closer to perfection, and to help you avoid the need for larger dental treatment down the track.