By Susan Braden
90% of the world’s population has or has experienced a cavity. In order to prevent tooth loss and severe oral diseases, it is important to detect the first signs of a cavity infection. Thanks to X-ray researchers of India’s RMK engineering college, detecting tooth decay may become easier, and with discount dental care, treating the decay can become affordable as well.
If the dentist needs to look beyond the surface of the teeth, he or she will take an X-ray of the patient's mouth. This reveals decay and other abnormalities occurring inside the tooth structure. It is standard procedure to get an X-ray as a new patient, but sometimes it can be a little expensive (though there are some dental plans that make it much cheaper).
According to Science Daily, Indian researchers of RMK engineering college have developed an innovative X-ray technology that may become integral in detecting early stages of tooth decay, even in hard-to-see places. These students have created an X-ray analysis method to detect the intensities of pixels at various X-ray wavelengths, similar in effect to a histogram from a high specification digital camera. By using this method, researchers discovered that pixels concentrate with varying intensities according to the level of decay present on different areas of the teeth.
Cavities are actually an infectious disease that damages the structure of teeth. This decay causes toothache, tooth loss, and even jawbone infection. What most people don’t know is that cavities are actually full of acid-producing bacteria that dissolve the minerals of your teeth.
There are two types of cavities: those that form in tooth fissures or pits, and those that form on smooth surfaces of teeth. Cavities that form on smooth surfaces are often spotted easily by dentists. However, if a cavity forms in a tooth fissure or pit, it can be much harder to spot, and may even be missed or overlooked by your dentist.
Tooth decay is the #1 chronic disease in children, a disease up to five times more common than asthma. This disease is also the primary cause of child tooth loss. Due to the high incidence of cavities, more effective methods of detecting decay early on, such as this X-ray technology, may lead to less severe cavities and thus discounted treatment. Low cost oral care is necessary for all cavity-sufferers to receive access to decay treatment.
Patients should be encouraged that X-ray technology is progressing to better identify different stages of cavities. It may not be long before this X-ray innovation becomes a reality in your dentist’s office. This emerging technology, in conjunction with discount dental care, may be a cost-effective treatment to better prevent tooth loss and decay.