“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” That saying is completely true when it comes to cavity prevention and detection. It’s much easier to take steps to prevent tooth decay than it is to treat cavities that have already formed, particularly once they’ve progressed to the point of requiring extensive dental work.
And, using state-of-the-art imaging equipment, early cavity detection plays an important role in preventing extensive tooth decay and identifying issues when you can best treat them.
The Importance of Good Oral Hygiene
It goes without saying that one of the most important steps you can take to avoid cavities in the first place is to practice good dental hygiene habits.
First, brush your teeth for two minutes every morning and night. You should time your twice-daily toothbrushing sessions if you aren’t already—it’s common to underestimate how long two minutes is when brushing. Brush the fronts and backs of all of your teeth, as well as the chewing surfaces where plaque accumulates.
Flossing should be done at least once a day, either before or after brushing. When you floss your teeth, be sure to go all the way to the gumline. Because tooth decay is common between the teeth, in the spots where toothbrushes can’t reach, flossing is especially important.
Have a professional exam and dental cleaning every six months or as recommended by your dental team. Even if you perform excellent dental hygiene at home, plaque will eventually build up on your teeth. When it isn’t removed with brushing, it hardens into a sticky substance known as tartar or calculus, which can only be removed by a routine, professional dental cleaning.
Early Cavity Detection
Just as important as good dental hygiene is early cavity detection. We offer the new CamX® Spectra Caries Detection system to detect dental cavities not yet visible to X-ray or the human eye. It works like Doppler Radar, using both color and numerical value to identify the extent of decay, and enabling dentists to practice minimally invasive dentistry. The system provides an excellent possibility of diagnosing decay and disease at an early stage.
What Exactly is Spectra?
Spectra is a non-invasive detection aid that assists in eliminating guesswork in detecting and diagnosing tooth decay. It’s the only detection aid that uses fluorescence technology to visualize and discover cavities, plaque, and calculus earlier.
It uses fluorescence to detect cavities that might otherwise go unnoticed in X-rays, such as those in fissures and smooth surfaces. Its radar-like images are easily understandable, allowing patients to see just how early intervention helps them.
If you’d like to learn more about cavity detection or to schedule an appointment, reach out to us today!
Frequently Asked Questions
How does the new CamX® Spectra Caries Detection system reveal cavities accurately?
Filters that detect cavities (caries) and plaque, a part of the system’s exclusive imaging technology, show cavity activity through a color scale and numeric evaluation.Healthy enamel appears green while regions of decay will appear in either blue, red, orange or yellow; a numerical indicator reveals the extent of decay from 0 to 5.
How often should I schedule a dental exam and cleaning with my dentist?
Typically, you should schedule an exam and cleaning every six months – or as recommended by your dental team, as some may require more frequent cleaning.
I brush and floss twice a day. Why do my teeth still form tartar?
Plaque builds up on your teeth eventually despite thorough at-home cleaning. When it isn’t removed with brushing, it hardens into sticky tartar or calculus, which can only be removed by professional dental cleaning.