Pen-sized caries-detecting device on display

Nov. 27, 2006
New handheld device with fiber optic and LED technology designed for efficient, accurate early detection of caries.

NEW YORK--A new pen-sized device designed to make the process of locating and diagnosing even the tiniest caries simple, fast and accurate, is being showcased at the Greater New York Dental Meeting Nov. 24-29 in New York City.

The device, the D-Carie mini from neks Technologies of Montreal, Quebec, recently became available in the United States through an exclusive agreement with St. Paul, Minn.-based Patterson Dental.

It is being showcased in three locations during the meeting: the New Product and Technology Pavilion, Neks booth (#3838) and the Patterson Dental booths (#3801 and #4003).

The D-Carie mini is a lightweight, pen-sized and cordless device that uses fiber optic technology and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to accurately detect both occlusal and interproximal1 caries--even when lesions are in their earliest stages.

"The D-Carie mini simplifies and expedites the accurate, early detection of caries. It is easy to use because it requires no calibration or complex interpretation," said Dr. Naim Karazivan, a dentist and neks cofounder who invented the device. "Dental professionals now have the option of a working with a device that detects caries based on a tooth's structural change rather than counting the level of bacterial fluorescence found within the pits and fissures.

One Utah dentist, Dr. Rand T. Mattson, an early adopter of the D-Carie mini, has incorporated the device into his practice.

"The ease of use and the built-in 2-in-1 probe are really the features that I appreciate the most about the D-Carie mini," Dr. Mattson said. "I don't have to worry about calibrating the device or switching out probes when I check for both occlusal and interproximal caries and can instead concentrate on providing an accurate diagnosis for my patients."

"The device emits both sound and light signals when caries are detected, enabling the dentist to locate, diagnose and treat the affected area and avoid unnecessary work on healthy surfaces, an approach that is consistent with an emerging trend in dentistry," Dr. Karazivan said.

Dentistry is moving from the surgical model for preventing tooth decay (placing restorations) toward identification of early carious lesions and treating them with non-surgical methods including remineralization.

This new sterilizable, non-invasive device is designed to detect both occlusal and interproximal caries, using the same two-in-one probe. It features cordless technology, battery power and a compact profile that offers practitioners easy handling and simplified, efficient operation.

According to a study performed by the University of Montreal, the neks D-Carie mini detects more than 92 percent of occlusal caries. This represents nearly twice the rate obtained through X-ray and visual examination.

Dental faculties of major universities worldwide, including New York University, Indiana University, Virginia Commonwealth University and Bonn University in Germany are currently evaluating the device and comparing it with other caries detection technologies. Preliminary results are very encouraging, Dr. Karazivan said.

When used as a diagnostic aid in conjunction with an X-ray, the neks D-Carie mini, allows dentists to assess a third dimension--the volume of caries--prior to opening the tooth.

The device also provides dentists with an option for examining and diagnosing children, pregnant women and patients who prefer to forgo X-rays or limit their exposure to them for health or personal reasons.