Laser Cavity


Traditionally, dentists would ‘poke’ a patient’s teeth with a sharp metal instrument in order to find tooth decay on the chewing surfaces of the tooth. Because decay causes the enamel or hard surface of the tooth to soften and break-down, the metal explorer would stick in the tooth indicating to the dentist that decay was present.

Laser Cavity Detection

Tooth decay begins when bacteria enters the tooth through a very small break in the enamel. After the decay makes its entry, the tooth begins to erode from the inside. Typically, the initial break in the tooth enamel is so microscopic that it cannot be detected by the human eye or even the metal explorer. Because the metal explorers of the past could not detect decay in its earliest form, the treatment of decay was slightly more aggressive than it is today.

With laser technology, we are now able to detect and treat decay in its earliest form using a laser treatment called KaVo Diagnodent. The Diagnodent is an instrument that uses laser fluoroscopy to scan teeth and detect those tiny microscopic breaks in tooth enamel that can lead to advanced tooth decay (see image, the Laser [right] vs. Traditional Metal Explorer [left]).

Early detection is best with any potential disease. Because tooth decay is a disease, the diagnodent is able to detect and treat decay before it reaches the advanced stages. If tooth decay is discovered early, restorations to the tooth are much more conservative and allows patients to keep as much of their own natural, healthy tooth structure as possible. Laser cavity detection is just one of the ways we can help you to maintain a happy and healthy smile.

To learn more about the KaVo Diagnadent Cavity Detection system, please call our office at 480-860-0092 or visit