The ability to diagnose unseen caries and accurately determine the difference between caries ‘affected’ and ‘infected’ dentine has been a game changer in the evolution of intra-oral cameras. Acteon’s SoproLIFE® intra-oral camera with built in caries detection function has revolutionised diagnosis, treatment planning and patient education, by harnessing the power of fluorescence to detect abnormalities in dentine. SoproLIFE uses fluorescent light of a defined wavelength to provide visual evidence of changes in the mineralisation of dentine and to highlight both developing and established caries. In ‘Macro’ mode the convenient handheld device provides up to 115-x magnification to aid visual inspection of suspect cracks and fissures which are difficult, if not impossible to see clearly with the naked eye. In diagnosis mode, which harnesses the power of auto fluorescence, SoproLIFE reveals healthy dentine (which glows green under fluorescence) and demineralised dentine, which shows up
as white/grey. This is often an indicator of early onset caries.

Probing deeper in treatment mode the presence of caries is flagged by bright a bright red colour which is easily discernible on an attached video monitor (either attached to the patient chair or laptop connected to the SoproLIFE via USB). This is especially useful for interproximal caries or exploring deep fissures. During excavation of the tooth, the margins of infected and affected dentine are clearly distinguishable, allowing the infected caries (which shows up as bright red) to be removed and the affected dentine (which shows up as orange) to be retained to allow the remainder of the tooth to heal. Dr Steve Lising of Preventive Dentistry in Braddon, ACT has been using intra-oral cameras for more than 20 years. He sees enormous value in using the SoproLIFE for patient education, by allowing patients to see problems for themselves and helping them understand the diagnosis and treatment options. Even with over 20 years practical experience, Dr Lising said the SoproLIFE enabled him to detect caries lurking below the surface which were not visible to the naked eye or X-rays, nor readily apparent just by probing. This rapid diagnosis in real time can even avoid the need for unnecessary X-rays. Most of all, Dr Lising said the SoproLIFE enabled informed and guided judgement during restorations which avoided too little or too much of the infected and affected dentine to be removed, helping preserve the integrity of the remaining tooth structure. “The SoproLIFE gives you great confidence in the diagnosis and treatment plan and is also a valuable medico legal record of the treatments performed. I use the SoproLIFE on all new patients and at subsequent appointments and save the images to the patient file to compare later on to monitor teeth.

Above are images of the same tooth under:

  • Daylight mode
  • Macro mode
  • Diagnosis mode

Green represents healthy dentine, the lighter areas are demineralised. The caries in the suspect fissure shows up as red under fluorescence in diagnosis and treatment modes.

over time. Often it convinces me not to explore stained fissures.” This fits perfectly with the practice’s ethos of minimally invasive dentistry and always opting for preventative, rather than restorative treatments whenever possible. SoproLIFE is available from A-dec and can be fully integrated into A-dec delivery systems.