The Canary System

The tools that we use to evaluate your dental health continue to evolve. With a new high-tech device called The Canary System, Dr. Kao can now identify potential dental concerns far earlier than with conventional means such as x-rays. It’s simple, fast and pain free, and does not involve x-rays.

What is The Canary System™?

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.

How does The Canary System work?

The Canary uses a low-power, pulsating laser light to scan teeth for the presence of dental caries 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.

What happens when carious lesions are detected?

Early detection of dental caries allows decay to be halted or reversed using remineralization therapies. Therapies such as the application of fluoride can repair teeth by reconstituting the minerals into decayed areas.

The Canary System™ can:
•Identify and monitor tooth decay without the need for dental x-rays
•Detect decay on all tooth surfaces including between teeth (interproximal areas)
•Detect decay in between teeth at an earlier stage than the traditional dental x-ray
•Detect decay as small as 50 microns (20 times smaller than a millimeter)
•Examine teeth for decay as deep as 5 millimeters below the tooth surface
•Offer a safe, non-invasive, painless and quick experience

Is The Canary System a new approach to dentistry?

Yes. The Canary Dental Caries Detection System progressively shifts the dental care approach from intervention (filling of cavities) to prevention. It is pain-free, safe, non-invasive and provides early detection of tooth decay. In short, it shifts the treatment endpoints from waiting for a cavity to break through the enamel shell before treatment to allowing the dentist to apply and monitor the changes with various remineralizing therapies.

Will earlier caries detection and remineralization therapy mean less “drilling and filling”?

Yes. With The Canary System, Quantum Dental Technologies provides the technology to detect and monitor these early lesions well before “drilling and filling” are required. Remineralization works best if there is some intact enamel. Once the decay has broken through the enamel shell a filling is required.