SOPROLife Caries Detection Technology

Published on March 22, 2012 by

Our office is proud to incorporate a new and very accurate cavity detecting technology into our practice to provide the best in dental care to our patients.

With the widespread use of fluoride, the very nature of tooth decay has changed. The outer surfaces of teeth are strengthened and can resist  probing with a dental instrument yet the surface can be porous allowing tooth decay to spread undetected.

These pit and fissure cavities on the biting surface of a tooth are traditionally the most difficult to detect using x-rays due to the direction the images are taken from. Images are taken from the side of the tooth, which essentially hides the cavity from the dentists view.  These Cavity Detectors help us to find these types of cavities.  

X-ray imaging is still an indispensable diagnostic tool for dentistry.  We use environmentally friendly digital x-ray imaging to provide very detailed radiographs on our computer screens with a fraction of the radiation used in conventional radiography. This also allows you to view the x-rays with us.  X-rays and Cavity Detectors complement each other. X-rays are good at finding cavities in between teeth and on the roots.  Cavity Detectors are good at finding cavities on the tooth’s biting surface.

Our office currently uses two types of Cavity Detectors:  SOPROLife and DIAGNOdent

SOPROLife is a new imaging fluorescence device aiding in the diagnosis and treatment of caries.  The auto fluorescence technology in SOPROLife allows us to detect decay, even in its earliest stages, which can often be missed by the eyes or by x-rays.  It also allows us to differentiate healthy from infected tissue in order to remove only the tissue which is diseased.  The light penetrates the enamel outer layer and shows the healthy dentin in a green color and the decayed dentin in red. SOPROLife  is free from ultraviolet or ionizing rays.


DIAGNOdent uses a laser beam to aide in the detection of caries. DIAGNOdent is first calibrated to your unique tooth structure by scanning a cleaned tooth surface with a harmless laser beam. After calibration we will gently scan your teeth. A small counter top unit emits an audio signal and registers a digital read-out, which identifies cavities developing below the surface.  The higher the amount of fluorescence detected by the machine, the greater the degree of decay within the tooth.


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