Abbott Family Dentistry

Abbott Family Dentistry, LLC


Light Induced Fluorescent Evaluation


Light Induced Fluorescent Evaluation (L.I.F.E.) is a method of cavity detection that uses a specific wavelength of light to make the caries (cavity) stand out in a way that is easier to see.  The LIFE camera helps Dr. Pierson make sure that it is less likely that a cavity will be missed and when removed, that the cavity is fully removed. 

Dr. Pierson uses the LIFE camera to enhance exams and cavity treatment because there is a chance that any dentist can miss a cavity while doing an exam and even leave cavity in the tooth when treating it.  From day one in dental school Dr. Pierson has always used and still uses a Cavity detection dye when removing the cavity from the tooth. As a younger dentist Dr. Pierson had the pleasure of meeting a more experience dentist who had reported to the aircraft carrier Dr. Pierson was stationed on.  This more experience dentist liked to tease Dr. Pierson and said things like, "Real dentists don't need cavity detection dye."  This went on for about a week and Dr. Pierson decided he had enough so when nobody else was present he politely approached this more experienced dentist who happened to out rank him and suggested he try the cavity detection dye.  He went on to suggest he pay attention to the dental enamel junction when he did this.  Dr. Pierson also suggested that he did not need to know what this more experienced dentist found, he just asked the other dentist to be honest with himself after using the dye. To the other dentists credit, he later approached Dr. Pierson and said that he was surprised to find that he had missed some of the cavity.  One of Dr. Pierson's friends in dental school surprised everyone by failing the dental board twice in a row for not removing the cavity from the tooth.  This friend of Dr. Pierson actually thought he did not need cavity detection dye.  

So along comes the cavity detection camera system using L.I.F.E. technology.  Dr. Pierson has found that it is a great addition to the procedure of removing the cavity but not a replacement for the cavity detection dye.  If the camera has too oblique an angle on the cavity, it may miss it. There have been times when the dye does not stain the cavity and the camera helps these areas stand out.  There is no perfect system for identifying a cavity but with careful evaluation visually with bright light and surgical telescope to magnify the field of view, use of cavity detection dye, and use of the LIFE camera, the chance of not getting all the cavity out of the tooth is as high as it can get here at Abbott Family Dentistry, LLC.