Caries Diagnostics With The Canary System

by Larry Emmott on June 26, 2014

in Dentalcompare,Diagnostics

34_767_CanaryIn case you missed it: Dentalcompare March 2013.

If Doctor McCoy on Star Trek had been a dentist he wouldn’t have used a Tricorder he would have used a Canary.

As a dentist you are taught to diagnose dental disease by observing a physiologic change in a tissue, and then based on training and experience to determine if that change is pathologic. Does it represent disease? We have a number of tools to help us do this; a sharp stick to explore the tooth and a probe to stick under the gums. We use our eyes to observe the surface colors; we feel the tissues and measure pockets with a tiny dip stick.

All of these techniques have something in common; they are inconsistent, subjective and not very accurate.

The best example is checking for occlusal decay. We are taught, essentially, to check for decay by using a sharp stick. We poke the occlusal surface with an explorer, and then depending on our training, experience and tactile sensitivity, we determine whether or not decay is present by how it feels.

via Emmott On Technology: Caries Diagnostics Steps Ahead With The Canary System | Dentalcompare.com.

I believe that high tech digital diagnostics will be the next big breakthrough in medicine and dentistry. We are already closer than you might imagine to the “Tricorder” of old Star Trek fame.

The developments in using genetics for diagnosis and treatment planning as discussed here is another great example of high tech diagnostics. In the near future we will have patients simply swab their mouths then stick the swab in a reader connected to a smart phone and we will dispense a chemically formulated toothpaste designed for both their personal genome and that of their oral bacteria.

Personalized genome based medicine is still a few years away but the Canary is here now. Using a sharp stick to detect caries was fine for G.V. Black. Dr. McCoy would use a Canary.

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