The transilluminator is a special device that looks for hidden cavities and tooth fractures, which are often missed during visual or tactile exams or X-rays. Fiber-optic transillumination (FOTI) refers to light transmission through tissues of the oral cavity. This bright light can illuminate translucent tooth structure and reveal changes in color as well as cracks, fractures and other tooth defects.

FOTI is a supplemental diagnostic tool that does not require digital support. Simply by shining a bright light on translucent oral tissues and teeth, we can improve our ability to achieve correct diagnoses. FOTI also gives us an additional treatment tool. It can be used to:

  • Diagnose anterior and posterior interproximal cavities and occlusal cavities
  • Evaluate stained margins on composite resins, cusp fractures and cracked teeth
  • Explore and illuminate endodontic access and root canal orifices inside pulp chambers during endodontic treatment
  • Detect calculus on teeth
  • Evaluate soft-tissue lesions
  • Evaluate all-ceramic restorations to rule out fractures before cementation
  • Clinically evaluate fracture lines in all-ceramic restorations and natural teeth
  • Evaluate depth and quality of staining to determine appropriate treatment
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