Image courtesy of Ortek Therapeutics
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I have it—you want it! Ortek-ECD by Ortek Therapeutics

Dec. 1, 2020
Dr. Glazer reviews the Ortek-ECD—a portable electronic caries detection device with the power to find carious lesions before they're visible via radiograph.

While clinical and radiographic examinations often reveal decay that requires treatment, there may be times when either the radiograph does not indicate anything or it’s inconclusive. This is where a great new device, the Ortek-ECD (electronic caries detection) can save the day, or rather, the tooth. 

With both a numeric readout and audible signal, this portable device can often find carious lesions before they’re visible via radiograph, and better yet, before the patient develops a toothache. As with most diseases (and decay is a disease), early detection and intervention are very important. If we’re able to detect the decay process early, we can ensure minimal loss of tooth structure using instruments like SS White’s Fissurotomy burs to remove the decay and preserve the integrity of the tooth. 

How this works and differs from other detection systems is quite unique. The Ortek-ECD measures the conductivity of the enamel through the pits and fissures on the occlusal surface(s) of posterior teeth. If the dentinoenamel junction is breached by demineralization, then even minuscule amounts of dentinal fluid will enter into the enamel. It is this small amount of fluid that is measured by completing the electrical circuit. The higher the amount of dentinal fluid detected, the higher the level of demineralization requiring a restorative treatment. The key to using this device is to start with dry occlusal surfaces, which is easily accomplished by using an air syringe. The patient has a bent “lip clip” similar to that used with an apex locator, which completes the circuit as the dentist or hygienist uses a single-patient-use tip that is placed at the bottom of pits and fissures. These tips are inexpensive and provide access into the smallest of crevices. I find the Ortek-ECD to be an excellent device for detecting decay and providing minimally invasive treatment. 

Howard Glazer, DDS, FAGD, is a columnist for Dental Economics. He is a key opinion leader in dental products and maintains a general practice in Fort Lee, New Jersey. Dr. Glazer is a fellow and past president of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD). He lectures frequently on the subjects of dental materials, cosmetic dentistry, forensic dentistry, and patient management.

About the Author

Howard S. Glazer, DDS, FAGD

Howard S. Glazer, DDS, FAGD, is a fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry, American College of Dentists, International College of Dentists, American Society for Dental Aesthetics, American Academy of Forensic Sciences, and a diplomate of the American Board of Aesthetic Dentistry. He is an attending dentist at the Englewood Hospital in Englewood, New Jersey, and the deputy chief forensic dental consultant to the Office of Chief Medical Examiner, City of New York. For the past several years, Dr. Glazer was named one of the top dentists in New Jersey by New Jersey Monthly, 201 Magazine, and Bergen Magazine. He lectures nationally and internationally on the subjects of dental materials, cosmetic dentistry, forensic dentistry, and patient management. Additionally, Dr. Glazer is a frequent author of dental articles and has been published worldwide. For 14 years he wrote a column, “What’s Hot and What’s Getting Hotter!” in AGD Impact. He currently writes the column “I have it—You want it!” in Dental Economics. Dr. Glazer maintains a general practice in Fort Lee, New Jersey.

Read Dr. Glazer's DE Editorial Advisory Board profile here. 

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