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Ramon Spectroscopy Could End Need for Dental Fillings

July 22nd, 2008 · No Comments

no more cavitiesAccording to, scientists in London are using Ramon spectroscopy to detect tooth demineralizaion so early that special mouthwash or fluoride varnish may prevent cavity development. Imagine, no need to worry about the amalgam controversy; no need for patients to stress out over the dental drill; and best of all, this could mean an end to a raging disease across the globe – dental caries. Don’t get too excited yet. Research to this point has not involved human teeth, and the cost of producing a Ramon spectroscopy machine is high.

How it works: Ramon spectroscopy for dentistry is being developed by scientists at King’s College London. Currently, the technology is used to identify molecular fingerprints that allow scientists to distinguish different chemicals. Now this power has been harnessed for dentistry. By simply directing an optical fiber at a tooth, a trained professional can analyze how the light responds and determine if cavity-causing bacteria are present. Bacteria respond to light in a particular manner, so scientists see exactly where they’re destroying a tooth. At this stage, demineralization, preventive measures could stop a cavity from forming and eliminate the need for a dental filling.

How it’s different: Technology like DIAGNOdent by KaVo is very useful in early detection. Also based on a light response, DIAGNOdent finds the smallest of lesions on a tooth. Ramon spectroscopy can detect the bacteria even earlier. For the time being, DIAGNOdent is leading the war against caries by allowing dentists to treat cavities that  they may not even see in a visual exam. So, it seems, Ramon spectroscopy will be the next wave in this arsenal. But much research is necessary, and it will take years.

Tags: News · Technology