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01 Jan 2010 | Australasian Dental Practice

news > Spectrum > Page 26

Evolution of the MI revolution

Minimally Invasive Dentistry New Products

Melbourne's Dr Geoff Knight is the first dentist in Australia to trial the latest generation Acteon SoproLIFE fluorescence evaluator, launched at the 2009 International Dental Show (IDS) in Cologne, Germany.

"One of the biggest challenges in dentistry is predictable caries diagnosis," Dr Knight said. "Opening a healthy fissure damages the tooth, while leaving undiagnosed caries continues the destruction of tissue."

Not surprisingly, Dr Knight has shown an interest in caries detection devices like the SoproLIFE. The technology has progressed greatly from the relatively unsophisticated early laser devices to a simple and accurate system, which visually shows areas of demineralization and caries using the principal of fluorescence, which is easily viewed on a video monitor.

The latest SoproLIFE caries indicator can help to identify the nature and extent of caries when used in diagnosis mode, and importantly, where to stop preparation when used in treatment mode.

"That's why I see the SoproLIFE as a useful instrument to identify the nature and extent of caries and to monitor the response of the tooth to ongoing remineralization procedures. If restoration is eventually required, there are clear boundaries for clinicians to identify the limits of the cavity preparation," Dr Knight said.

Dr Knight is a staunch advocate of preservation dentistry and has pioneered a number of innovative clinical procedures in aesthetic dentistry and the pharmacological management of caries, most notably using silver fluoride and glass ionomer cements.

He believes traditional restorative dentistry is based upon the flawed premise of removing caries-affected tooth structures. If left in place, Dr Knight says these structures are capable of remineralizing to form a protective layer beneath a restoration.

"If the medical profession was to apply the same thinking as dentists, a splinter and the surrounding inflamed tissue would be removed and the lesion filled with a silicon plug, instead of cleaning the wound, applying a medicament to assist with healing and protecting the healing tissues from a hostile environment.

"It's the same principle with teeth - remove surface contaminants, apply a medicament to inflammation (disease-affected tissue) to assist healing (remineralization) and isolate the lesion from the environment (restore)."

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