Our goal in dentistry has always been to prevent oral diseases. When we can’t prevent them, then our goal is to catch them as early as possible to prevent further destruction. Some of the most common diseases we encounter in the mouth are: Gum disease, dental caries (cavities), and oral cancer. Cavities are the most common among them all, and the World Health Organization states “60–90% of school children and nearly 100% of adults have dental cavities.” So it is imperative that we can catch this disease as soon as possible.
Throughout the history of dentistry, diagnosing cavities was done by 2 ways: seeing them on x-rays or by sticking the pointy end of our dental explorer in a crevice and if we catch a “stick” then we know there’s a cavity. However, when a cavity is at that point it is already pretty big and into the second layer (dentin) of our teeth. The only layer after that is the nerve, and at this layer a patient would have sensitivity or pain and require a root canal. We never want it to get to that point.
We are so fortunate to be living in the age of technology, where we can combine all of our knowledge as dentists and have created many useful tools that can detect cavities before they get to be a worse problem. Among those aids is the DIAGNODENT, which we have been using for years at Lifetime Smiles in Escondido and seeing amazing and accurate results catching this disease early.
Keeping up with technology, and our love and desire to provide our patients in Escondido and surrounding San Diego communities with the best care possible, we have one of the newest products available, The SOPROLIFE camera. It is the first camera to be approved by the FDA to detect cavities.
Why is it so special?
- Blue Fluorescence technology lets us to visualize and not guess, which allows us to:
- Catch cavities early
- Determine healthy tooth from infected tooth
- Minimize removal of tooth structure
- Maximize early detection and prevention
- Camera that can magnify the tooth to detect things not seen by the naked eye
- Cracks – discovering them before they become larger or fracture
- Broken/Ill-fitting restorations – notice areas that are problematic or have the potential to cause problems
The sooner we can spot a cavity the sooner we can take care of it and the more tooth structure we can save. Waiting for a cavity to get bigger will only guarantee a bigger filling and more sensitivity. Waiting until it hurts will almost guarantee root canal treatment followed by a crown. I wouldn’t want my mother to let a cavity get larger just because it’s not big enough to stick my explorer in or see on an X-Ray. Since our philosophy is to treat our patients as we would family members we would want the same for you. Cavities are a worldwide epidemic and our goal is simple; early detection leads to better prevention, less invasive dentistry, less cost and hence more smiles for you.
We look forward to helping you prevent cavities. For more information on the cause of tooth decay read our blog on tooth caries.
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To your smile,
Dr. Christo Mallakis