Doppler-style technology highlights tooth decay

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Going to the dentist is never fun but always necessary. For those who skip appointments because they don't like going, Air Techniques has a new technology that will let you actually "see" the tooth decay as a result.

The Spectra Caries Detection Aid uses a color code system similar to what you would see on our Doppler 9000 weather-casts here on WUSA9, along with a number between 0 and 5 to see the severity of the decay.

Dr. John Tsaknis of Dentalbug in Northwest DC says, "It's something that allows us as dentists to be able to show patients what it is that we are looking at when it comes to cavities or what type of bacteria they have in their mouth."

"So in the center if it is red or dark yellow that means there is more bacteria concentrated on that one area," adds Dr. Tsaknis.

It's also a tool that helps dentists determine early if a filling will be needed.

Dr. Tsaknis says, "We are able to visually see, show patients, and keep something as a clinical record to make the patient feel more comfortable when making that judgement when we decide to go ahead and do the filling."

For Radiyance Swanston of Northwest Washington, seeing the color coded screen gives her a good idea of the progress she is making in keeping her teeth healthy.

"It was very cool, I've never experienced technology like that. My old dentist, it's still the film, x-rays," adds Swanston.

According to the

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

, 24 percent of adult Americans have untreated tooth decay.

It is recommended to see a dentist twice a year.


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