In the News

New device detects very early cavitated lesions on occlusal surfaces before visible on x-rays | DentistryIQ

New device detects very early cavitated lesions on occlusal surfaces before visible on x-rays

A new portable electronic cavity detection system from Ortek Therapeutics Inc. can spot dental caries before the lesions can be seen on x-rays, allowing time for minimally invasive dental treatment.

Ecd Images Main Front Shot
Photo courtesy of Ortek Therapeutics Inc.

New product release

A new portable dental device—Ortek ECD—can detect dental caries before the lesions can be seen on x-rays. The electronic cavity detection system from Ortek Therapeutics Inc. was developed and tested at Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine and is FDA-approved for professional use only.

Ortek ECD unit with accessoriesOrtek ECD unit with accessoriesPhoto courtesy of Ortek Therapeutics Inc.The Ortek ECD enables dental professionals to detect cavities earlier so that dental tooth structure suffers less damage. When the stainless-steel tip of the ECD is placed in the grooves of molars and premolars, it measures the conductivity of enamel and instantly displays a digital cavities score. At this point, minimally invasive procedures or other appropriate dental care can be recommended.

Mitchell Goldberg, founder and president of Ortek Therapeutics Inc., shares more information about the Ortek ECD.

DIQ: Please explain the science behind Ortek ECD.

Goldberg: Unlike other caries detection systems, the Ortek ECD measures the conductivity of enamel. The ECD was specifically designed to help dental professionals diagnose and monitor early cavitated lesions in the pits and fissures located on the occlusal surfaces of posterior teeth. If the dentin-enamel junction is breached by demineralization, hydrostatic pressure that exists within dentinal tubules will allow minuscule amounts of conductive dentinal fluid to enter the breached enamel site, allowing the ECD to complete an electrical circuit.

Loss of mineral from enamel as a result of caries activity increases porous size and enamel porosity. As this demineralization increases, more dentinal fluid enters the breached site. The more fluid detected results in a higher current and an increasing digital caries score that is digitally displayed from 01–100. Intact tooth enamel is a good insulator and is electrically nonconductive. When the enamel at the bottom of a pit or fissure is intact, the circuit path is opened and no current can flow, indicating no cavitated lesion and a zero score.

DIQ: How can dentists use this device in their practices?

Goldberg: Due to its affordability, the ECD can easily be incorporated into dental practices. Suspicious occlusal carious lesions can be a challenge to diagnose and often go untreated. Using the ECD is fast and easy and can be used during routine hygiene exams or by the dentist to help diagnose and monitor these very prevalent lesions. Detecting early cavitated occlusal lesions helps conserve tooth structure. For the practitioner, the ECD will create a new revenue stream with rapid profitability. It's a win-win for dental professionals and their patients.

To learn more about Ortek ECD, visit

Editor’s note: Mitchell Goldberg is the founder and president of Ortek Therapeutics Inc. He has more than 30 years of experience as a senior executive in the pharmaceutical, oral care, and medical device industries. Prior to founding Ortek, Goldberg was a cofounder of Noven Pharmaceuticals, a leader in advanced transdermal drug delivery systems.

Source: Content adapted from a press release dated May 21, 2020, from Ortek Therapeutics Inc.

More in Hygiene and Preventive