One of the most exciting areas of new product development is high tech diagnostics. The core of hi tech diagnostics is the ability to scientifically measure a biologic condition and then to convert those measurements to a digital format for analysis and recording. The result is a highly accurate and consistent measurement.
One of the first high tech diagnostics was Diagnodent from Kavo. Diagnodent was a good start but has several limitations. If only works with clean non restored occlusal surfaces. The newest caries detection technology called “The Canary System” does much more.
The Canary (so named because it is an early warning system like the canary in the coal mine) was recently approved by the FDA for use in the US. The Canary uses a low-power, pulsating laser light to scan teeth for the presence of dental caries. The laser light is absorbed by the tooth and converted into luminescence and a tiny amount of heat (not enough to harm the tooth). Simultaneous measurement of the reflected heat and light can help determine the presence and extent of tooth decay.
The Canary can detect decay on smooth enamel surfaces, root surfaces, biting surfaces, between teeth and around existing amalgam or composite fillings. It is a pain-free, non-invasive and uses no radiation. Extensive research shows it to be highly accurate and more sensitive to early changes than traditional methods of diagnosis.
All this is great but what is even more amazing is that it can detect decay up to 5mm deep. That means the Canary could be used in place of radiographs for the detection of interproximal decay.