Lantis Laser is developing its proprietary optical coherence tomography (OCT) Dental Imaging SystemTM to address early detection of decay that will enable dentists to detect demineralization at an early stage. Lantis’ OCT System images at up to 10 times the resolution of an x-ray, according to the company, giving the dentist an advanced diagnostic capability. Unlike x-ray, OCT emits no harmful radiation, instead using safe, high-intensity light.

As reported on the front page of the New York Times on October 11, 2007, previously unreleased figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that in 2003 and 2004, the most recent years from which data  are available, 27% of children and 29% of adults had cavities going untreated. The level of untreated decay was the highest since the late 1980s and significantly higher than that found in a survey that covered 1999 to 2002.

"These figures clearly indicate that tooth decay, which is the leading cause of tooth loss, continues to be a disease of concern," said Craig Gimbel, clinical director at Lantis Laser.

Gimbel continued, "This incidence of tooth decay reflects the known, but with the majority of tooth decay beginning in the pit and fissures, or biting surface and between the teeth, there is a lot of ‘hidden’ decay that only becomes evident at a more advanced stage. More advanced imaging modalities than are currently used are sorely needed by the dental profession. Since the fluoridation of water, the incidence of decay forming under the enamel has also increased. The ‘hidden’ decay in all these areas needs to be unearthed so treatment can be applied as early as possible, before matters get worse."

Lantis Laser’s OCT Dental Imaging System is currently in Phase 2 development, and five Beta clinical systems are expected to be deployed by January 2008. Market introduction is targeted for the third quarter of 2008.

Stan Baron, president and CEO of Lantis, said, "This is a disease that is prevalent worldwide and, like any disease, if it is going to be confronted. The key is in early detection. Lantis’ OCT Dental Imaging System will be the modality of choice to confront this worldwide health problem."

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