Studies Show Laser-, Light-Based Systems May Detect Caries Earlier Than X-Rays

The Wall Street Journal (1/6, Johannes, Subscription Publication) reports on the front page of its “Personal Journal” section that a growing body of research shows that devices using light and lasers to detect dental caries are significantly more effective than traditional X-rays. The Journal points out that one study found that one such device discovered 93 percent of early caries, compared to just 27 percent that were discovered with X-rays. However, the Journal also reports that the devices present the potential for false positives.

Note: It is amazing how technology has changed. We now use two different non-X-ray means to determine decay/cracked teeth issues, because the 100+ year old X-ray technology (even though we’ve been “digital” for over a decade) just do not show us everything we need to see. Yes, X-rays are still useful, but they’re just another tool which may someday be mostly outdated in dentistry.