Are there other ways, along with x-rays, to detect cavities in teeth?
Yes. Since x-rays are two dimensional pictures, dentists do not rely on x-rays alone to detect decay. We look for discoloration or changes in enamel in grooves and around old fillings, and ask questions about temperature sensitivity and sweet sensitivity. We also use a device called a Diagnodent. This diagnostic tool is a tiny laser light that when pointed into grooves of teeth, can detect changes in mineralization of enamel. The more destruction of enamel by decay, the greater the reading. Decay found with Diagnodent is usually in early stages and small in size.
With these multiple options for detecting decay, there is less chance of it going unnoticed and the resulting filling is less invasive and less expensive.