Laser Cavity Risk Assessment

Assessing your cavity risk is key to prevention. We not only use the latest in laser dentistry for cavity detection, we also emphasize education about the bacteria that cause teeth to breakdown. Its impossible to predict with certainty who will get cavities, but with our help, you can discover what puts you at risk of cavities. We consider it an important part of our job to teach you how you can improve your chances of remaining cavity-free, or keep you from getting any additional cavities.

Tooth Demineralization

Cavities, otherwise known as dental decay or dental caries, are holes in the teeth caused by demineralization or breakdown of the enamel (thin outer covering) of the teeth. This breakdown is the result of bacteria on teeth that feed on foods and produce acid that destroys tooth enamel and results in tooth decay.

The demineralization process starts on the outside of the tooth by acids produced by bacteria. A thin film of biomaterial called plaque forms on the surface of the tooth. Acid producing bacteria live in the plaque. These bacteria utilize sugars like sucrose, glucose and fructose as their food sources. The waste products of the bacteria are acids, particularly lactic acid, that cause holes in the enamel and dentin of the teeth.

Although dental caries are largely preventable, they remain the most common chronic disease of children aged 6 to 11 years and adolescents aged 12 to 19 years. Dental caries also affects adults, with 9 out of 10 over the age of 20 having some degree of tooth decay.

We will conduct a thorough risk assessment for cavities. Some of the issues we will discuss with you include:

  • How often you visit the dentist?
  • How many times per day do you brush your teeth?
  • Do your gums bleed when you brush your teeth?
  • How many times per day do you floss your teeth?
  • Do you use toothpaste with fluoride?
  • Have you had a cavity within the past 3 years?
  • How often do you eat sugary snacks between meals?
  • Do you currently have orthodontic appliances (including braces) or partial dentures?
  • Do you often feel that your mouth is dry (as if you’re not producing enough saliva)?
  • Do you have any special needs that may limit your ability to care for your teeth and/or gums?
  • Do you use any products (e.g., chewing gum, mints, etc.) that contain xylitol?

We Use the Latest Laser Dentistry Technology to Detect the Smallest of Cavities

We also have invested in the latest technology to improve cavity detection. We use a new tool called a DIAGNOdent to detect early breakdown in your mouth. This pen like laser is totally pain free for patients. One of our dentists calls it the Geiger counter for cavities! By catching breakdowns in an early stage, we can prevent them from getting worse. We can stop the cavity and prevent expensive fillings and restorations for you.

DIAGNodent uses a laser diode to inspect your teeth.The Diagnodent actually allows us to detect tiny accumulation of food impacted in grooves on the teeth before they cause problems like decay and pain. This unique instrument provides instant feedback on the health of the tooth. Your Dental Health Dentist will simply glide it over the tooth surfaces checking the health of the tooth and giving a reading on the extent and severity of a cavity.

Using this laser dentistry, early detection allows for a conservative approach where we simply remove the diseased tooth surface through Micro Abrasion. Once the disease is removed, the dentist will place a small resin restoration and maintain significant amounts of healthy tooth structure. It is called minimally invasive micro-dentistry. This procedure can be done entirely without numbing a patient, and can be done on individuals of all ages. New technologies like DIAGNOdent take us a giant step forward to helping you achieve the goal of minimally invasive dentistry.

Convenient Offices To Serve You

Colorado Dental Health are located up and down the front range of Colorado, so there is always a dentist close by to serve you.  In Denver, we have three convenient locations: Downtown, Midtown and the Denver Tech Center.  Our Westminster office serves the northern metropolitan area, and if you are in Boulder or Longmont, there is a hometown Colorado Dental Health office at your service.  Schedule a visit today.