Recently, another device for caries detection was developed on LED technology - Midwest Caries I.D. - (DENTSPLY Professional, York, PA, USA) (Figure 9). The handheld device emits a soft light emitting diode (LED) between 635 nm and 880 nm and analyzes the reflectance and refraction of the emitted light from the tooth surface, which is captured by fiber optics and is converted to electrical signals for analysis. The microprocessor of the device contains a computer-based algorithm that identifies the different optical signature (changes in optical translucency and opacity) between healthy and demineralized tooth (Strassler and Sensi, 2008).
Fig. 9. Midwest Caries I.D. device and the standard for calibration procedure.
The demineralization leads to a change in the LED from green to red with a simultaneous audible signal, which is directly related to the severity of caries lesions. According to the manufacturer, when there is a change in the optical translucency and opacity of the dental tissues, the emitted green light changes to red and an audible signal could be heard. The faster the signal, the deeper the lesion. In the literature, there is only one published study which evaluated the Midwest Caries I.D. in vitro performance for occlusal caries detection (Rodrigues et al., 2011). In this study, the device presented the same cut-off limits for caries-free sites and enamel caries. This means that the Midwest Caries I.D. was not able to differentiate enamel lesions from sound surfaces.
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