Revolutionary early detection system finds cavities before X-rays
allowing dentists to remineralize affected teeth. No drilling or filling
TORONTO, July 3 /CNW/ - Quantum Dental Technologies, a Canadian
diagnostic device company, revealed its breakthrough technology which detects
and monitors the early onset of tooth decay without the need for dental
x-rays. It reduces the number of invasive and painful procedures, and
encourages better oral health. Quantum introduced its Dental Caries Detection
System prototype, known as The Canary System, at the International Association
for Dental Research (IADR) Conference in Toronto, Canada.
"Dentists are limited in their abilities to detect and monitor the early
stages of tooth decay with traditional diagnostic tools such as the X-ray and
visual examination," said Dr. Stephen Abrams, Chief Executive Officer of the
Toronto-based Quantum Dental Technologies and dental clinician. "Now, with
this innovative new system that is pain free, non-invasive and provides early
caries detection, we can finally move away from intervention, or the filling
of cavities, to focus on prevention and actual remineralization or healing of
small areas of tooth decay."
The Canary System uses a handheld laser that emits a low-power light to
examine tooth surfaces. When laser light is shone onto the tooth, the system
measures the level of glow (luminescence) and heat released from the tooth.
Laser light interacts differently with healthy teeth than with decayed teeth.
By varying the pulse of the laser beam, a depth profile of the tooth can be
created to permit detection of decay as deep as 5mm from the tooth surface and
as small as 50 microns in size (20 times smaller than a millimeter). With The
Canary System, the dentist is able to identify areas of decay much earlier
than with current methods.
This technology is based on extensive research including 30 published
research articles in peer-reviewed dental and medical journals. The Quantum
Dental group is presenting three posters at the IADR conference on this new
The Canary System can scan for caries on smooth enamel surfaces, root
surfaces, biting surfaces, between teeth, and around existing fillings.
Current methods are not as sensitive in detecting early decay in these areas.
Early detection of dental caries within the enamel shell of the tooth
allows applied remineralization therapies to halt or delay the decay. These
therapies work to repair the teeth by recrystalizing the minerals onto the
enamel surface. If detection of decay is delayed until it has broken
completely through the enamel shell, remineralization will not work and a
filling is required.
For patients, the placement of a dental filling is an invasive procedure
which causes some short term trauma to the tooth. Restorations do not last a
lifetime, and there is a cycle of continued placement and replacement of
fillings. Each new restoration gets larger, eventually leading to more
invasive treatments including crowns, root canal or extraction.
The Canary System:
- Is less invasive and safer than traditional approaches for detecting
and monitoring early-stage tooth decay;
- Extends the natural lifecycle of the tooth by providing a chance to
remineralize the decayed area;
- Eliminates the need for painful needles and fillings;
- Reduces the cost barriers to dental services by treating small
"cavities" before invasive and more expensive technologies are
"For dentists, The Canary System will open up a new source of patients
needing care," says Dr. Abrams. "Other clinical staff such as dental
hygienists or assistants may perform the procedure and administer
remineralization treatment. It's a win-win for everybody."
"For the research community, it means a sensitive, non-invasive device
for monitoring tooth decay in the lab or in field trials," says
Dr. Andreas Mandelis, Professor at the University of Toronto and President of
Quantum Dental Technologies. "The technology is robust and will provide the
researcher with a real-time view of the lesion without destruction of the
The Canary System will be in clinical trials for the next 18-24 months
with collaborators in both research and clinical settings, and will be ready
for market release in 2010.
About Quantum Dental Technologies
Quantum Dental Technologies is a new Canadian diagnostic device company
focused on the field of oral health care. QDT has designed and developed The
Canary Dental Caries Detection System, a patented technology, to provide
patients with an alternative to the traditional "drill, fill and bill"
approach to dental care. For more information, please visit
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