Friday, June 21, 2013

Curious About Digital Caries Detection? Take a Look at What Dr. Lou Graham & I have to Say About It

I love hanging out with my buddy Dr. Lou Graham.  He's a great guy and we always have some really great discussions.  Recently I was in Chicago and Lou & I got a chance to hangout, discuss all kinds of great stuff, and even video some of our discussions.  The one shown above is one I think you'll find especially enlightening. 

The world of dental diagnosis is changing.  More and more the idea of the doing the bulk of gathering data with an explorer is fading.  In its place is the concept of using digital devices to help the team locate caries as well as determine its depth.

The concept is this:  In order for a sharp explorer to actually "detect" caries, there must be sufficient breakdown of enamel to allow the tip of the explorer to penetrate the lesion.  In today's environment of enamel strengthened by fluoride and other remineralizing substances, this is a lot more difficult than it used to be.

Today we often find small channels of decay that progress through enamel without causing large amounts of breakdown.  When these "channels" reach dentin, they expand to create larger dentin based areas of decay that are more difficult to detect than in the past due to the presence of intact enamel.

To combat these clinical situations, there are 2 types of digital caries detection devices available to help.  One type of device (Kavo Diagnodent, MidWest Caries I.D.) is probe based.  It is used in a similar manner to an explorer, by tracing the grooves & pits of the tooth.  When caries is detected the devcies make a noise (the Diagnodent also offers a numeric score).

The visual devices?  They use intraoral imaging systems to actually show you where the decay is right on the computer screen.  Want to know even more about the Air Techniques Spectra and the Acteon Sopro CARE?  Watch the video above & then leave your comments below.

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