The device known as "Spectra" is a remarkable new technology that helps dentists detect early decay. Spectra is a hand held digital imaging system which projects a violet blue LED light onto the surface of your teeth to reveal bacteria that causes decay. There is no radiation involved in this process!
The light on your teeth causes any decay producing bacteria to fluoresce red, while healthy teeth fluoresce green. Your teeth are viewed on a computer monitor, and the monitor will display any decay or plaque using colors and numbers to help determine the extent of the decay and whether you need a filling. It is like "Doppler Radar" for teeth!
Remember when the dreaded "stick" of the dental pick meant a cavity? Well, with Spectra sometimes not so. Using Spectra, many times a stick is not a soft spot of decay, but merely a binding of the crevice of the tooth with the tip of the dental pick. Dr. Roden calls the Spectra, his "tie-breaker" in these situations.
The use of digital technology such as Spectra helps Dr. Roden attain the highest standard of care in detecting early decay; while not eliminating the need for x-rays, Spectra will provide improved early diagnosis of decay with less radiation.