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The DIAGNOdent is a laser-probe handpiece that uses 1-milliwatt, 655-nanometer wavelength light for the detection of caries. The device, which is intended as an adjunct to the clinical and radiographic detection of caries, works by shining pulsed light of a known wavelength onto the tooth surface via specially-designed tips. After a baseline measurement of the patient's healthy tooth structure is made, the tip is placed on questionable areas of the tooth and slowly rotated or rocked with a pendulum-like motion. The unit's internal processor interprets changes in the level of fluorescence of the light emitted back by the tooth as indicative of caries. A numerical reading is displayed on the front of the DIAGNOdent and an audible signal is sounded. KaVo America claims that the device works through non-cavitated tooth structure and can be used, over time, to monitor changes in the degree of decalcification of a suspect area. The DIAGNOdent is 150mm W x 110mm D x 120mm H and weighs 1.3 pounds. The handpiece attaches to the back of the base unit via a four-foot-long cord.