Traditional in dentistry, cavities are detecting by visual inspection, x-rays, and probing the tooth with an dental explorer (the little metal hook!). These still work well, but if these are the only tools your dentist is using, I guaranteeyou cavities are being missed and not detecting until they have grown much bigger.
In south Austin, at AUSTIN ARTISTIC DENTAL in addition to traditional methods we also use LASER CAVITY DETECTION with a machine called a Diagnodent. The diagnodent is a little pen like device that Dr. Hulse shines on his patients teeth at every exam. It feels absolutely painless to the patient, but it detects whether a cavity is forming inside the tooth.The reason this can happen is because teeth have little grooves and cracks in which bacteria and plaque can enter the tooth. The inside part of the tooth is softer then the outside and the cavity quickly spreads if not treated.
We use the diagnodent at Austin Artistic Dental so we can find the cavities when they are smaller. Before they become larger, painful, more difficult and expensive to treat.