Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A New Fluorescence System for Caries Detection

Laser fluorescence of caries is one of the best ways to look for decay. The Kavo Diagnodent has been using this principle for several years now. Here is some info on a device that has recently been announced in Canada called The Canary.

Quantum Dental Technologies introduced its Dental Caries Detection System prototype, known as The Canary System, at the International Association for Dental Research (IADR) Conference in Toronto, Canada.

"Dentists are limited in their abilities to detect and monitor the early stages of tooth decay with traditional diagnostic tools such as the X-ray and visual examination," said Dr. Stephen Abrams, Chief Executive Officer of the Toronto-based Quantum Dental Technologies and dental clinician. "Now, with this innovative new system that is pain free, non-invasive and provides early caries detection, we can finally move away from intervention, or the filling of cavities, to focus on prevention and actual remineralization or healing of small areas of tooth decay."

The Canary System uses a handheld laser that emits a low-power light to examine tooth surfaces. When laser light is shone onto the tooth, the system measures the level of glow (luminescence) and heat released from the tooth. Laser light interacts differently with healthy teeth than with decayed teeth. By varying the pulse of the laser beam, a depth profile of the tooth can be created to permit detection of decay as deep as 5mm from the tooth surface and as small as 50 microns in size (20 times smaller than a millimeter). With The Canary System, the dentist is able to identify areas of decay much earlier than with current methods.

The Canary System will be in clinical trials for the next 18-24 months with collaborators in both research and clinical settings, and will be ready for market release in 2010.

The last time I checked, the company website was offline, but when it is available the link is here.

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