Spectra is an FDA-approved, noninvasive, handheld digital imaging instrument that Dr. Jason Brown uses to aid in the detection of tooth decay. Spectra helps us quickly and reliably identify decay-causing bacteria in fissures and on chewing surfaces. Optical methods, such as Spectra, have the advantage of being noninvasive for a comfortable dental experience.

Spectra works through light-emitting diodes (LEDs), which project high-energy, violet-blue light at a wavelength of 405 nm onto the tooth surface. This causes porphyrins (special metabolites of cariogenic bacteria) to fluoresce red while healthy enamel fluoresces green. The data is sent to a computer, where Air Techniques’ Visix™ imaging software interprets and displays it, making the bacteria clearly visible on the monitor. The computer displays active bacteria in red and healthy tooth enamel in green. The images give indication to our dentist of both the degree and depth of tooth decay.

The sharp, easy-to-read color images make Spectra an ideal complement to X-rays during our exams at North Pointe Dental Care, as well as an effective tool to promote better oral hygiene. Spectra enables reliable tooth-by-tooth detection of decay and bacteria. It is also fast – the Spectra exam can be used about as quickly as an inspection with a mirror!

To learn more about the Spectra decay detector in Naperville, Illinois, and how we use it at our office, we welcome you to contact us today!


Actual images from the Spectra Camera.