A Remarkable Advance in Early Caries Detection
The revolutionary patented ECD technology was developed and tested at Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine and licensed to Ortek on an exclusive worldwide basis.
By measuring 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. Due to their morphology and anatomy, these sites are very vulnerable to decay in permanent 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 lower resistance, 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.
Case Study: Suspicious occlusal lesion accurately diagnosed by ECD
Pre-op view of maxillary first molar of a 22 year old adult showing 3 sites evaluated with ECD.
Site 3, with obvious decay.
Site 2, a suspicious occlusal lesion with no evidence of cavitation and
Site 1, which appeared sound.
After placing the conductive tip at the bottom of the pits of each site, The ECD instantly displayed the following digital readings: Site 1: (0), Site 2: (04) and Site 3: (93).
Once the enamel was removed, sites 2 and 3 showed decay as discoloration while site 1 showed no decay.
Once decay was removed, site 3 required deeper excavation relative to site 2.
In this case, the ECD was extremely effective in detecting a small cavitated lesion that may have normally gone untreated and indicated a very high score for an obvious and much larger cavitated lesion.