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The Canary System

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The standard problem of not knowing if cavities are below the tooth surface or under a restoration has been resolved by integrating The Canary System into our practice.

The Canary System™ is a device for the early detection and monitoring of tooth decay. It can detect decay on smooth enamel surfaces, root surfaces, biting surfaces, between teeth and around existing amalgam or composite fillings. It is a pain-free, safe and non-invasive early detection system built on years of thorough research.

What are the research and marketing claims behind The Canary System™?

The Canary System™ is an evidence-based cavities detection system built upon a solid foundation of peer-reviewed lab and clinical research.

How does The Canary System work?

The Canary uses a low-power, pulsating laser light to scan teeth for the presence of dental cavities or tooth decay. The laser light is absorbed by the tooth and two phenomena are observed: the laser light is converted into luminescence and there is a release of heat. This heat will not harm the tooth but gives us important information about the tooth up to a depth of 5 mm below the surface. Simultaneous measurement of the reflected heat and light provides us with information on the presence and extent of tooth decay below the tooth surface before being detected by dental radiographs.

Detecting & healing tooth decay

Tooth decay is a prevalent disease worldwide. The traditional treatment for tooth decay is to wait until a large cavity develops, remove decay and then place a filling. If tooth decay is detected early, before a substantial amount of the tooth is destroyed, the area can be remineralized by using fluorides and other remineralizing agents. The current diagnostic tools and techniques are not sensitive enough to detect these early areas of decay or to monitor their ongoing progression.

The Canary System™ allows oral health providers to detect and monitor tooth decay on all surfaces of the tooth and then to use this information to design preventive based dental programs to heal or remineralize these areas without using invasive techniques. For patients it means safe, easy dental appointments.

The Canary System enables us to initiate a remineralization program by monitoring the effectiveness of various treatments. With the Canary numbering system, our doctors will know if the lesions are improving or getting worse. With the Photothermal Radiometry and Luminescence technology (PTR-LUM), dental practitioners can rely on its consistent and accurate findings.

With this new system our office will be able to:

  • Provide early detection of small cavities, so that our dental team can remineralize the enamel shell and avoid filling placement
  • Be less invasive and safer than traditional approaches for detection and monitoring of early-stage tooth decay
  • Identify lesions earlier requiring a smaller less-invasive restoration, if required
  • Extend the natural life cycle of the tooth by providing an opportunity to remineralize the lesion, thus avoiding the placement and replacement of fillings in teeth with the potential risks this entails

At Picton Dental, we strive to meet our patients’ needs and comfort, and we do so with the help of the newest technological advancements the dental profession has to offer. Contact us today to find more information about how we can use our technology in order to provide you with dental care of exceptional quality.

1. Canary Reading


2. Revealing Decay


3. Decay Removed


4. Tooth is Restored


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