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Cavity Detection


Spectra™ Cavity Detection

In the United States, dental caries (cavities) in children and adults has declined over the past 40 years; however, oral disease continues to be prevalent and presents a major public health issue. As with any disease, early detection is key to reversing this trend. 

With the Spectra™ cavity detection aid, our Richmond, MI, practice can offer patients innovative technology and better overall care. Not only does Spectra technology clearly visualize patients’ current oral hygiene status, it serves as an additional aid in evaluating the efficacy of treatment over a period of time. 

What Is Spectra?

Spectra is the first handheld digital imaging instrument that aids in the detection of caries. Spectra quickly and reliably identifies decay-causing bacteria. Spectra uses fluorescent technology similar to the fluorescence principle used in the detection of oral cancer. Optical methods, such as Spectra, for the detection of cavities have the advantage of being noninvasive.

How Exactly Does Spectra Work? 

Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) project high-energy, violet-blue light onto the tooth surface. Light of this particular wavelength makes cavity-causing bacteria to fluoresce red while healthy enamel fluoresces green. 

The captured data is sent to the office computer where Air Techniques’ Visix™ imaging software interpolates it, making the cavity-causing bacteria clearly visible on the monitor. The computer displays active caries in red and healthy tooth enamel in green. 

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