Transillumination Assisted Examination
Teeth are like frosted glass, they are slightly translucent, but also opaque at the same time. A bright light beamed through teeth is able to discover and find early decay, before they are even visible on x-rays.
Other issues such as cracks and fractures can also be easily viewed and visualized to help make the correct choice and decision on your treatment plan.
Early Caries Detection
Before your teeth forms into a physical hole, which requires a filling, as the mineral content of the tooth goes down, water essentially fills in the micro cavities, changing the translucency of the tooth structure.
Decay detection has changed over the years, and systems like the ICDAS (International Caries Detection and Assessment System) system shows that decay detection is more and more reliant on a visual and radiographic examination. Gone are the days where dentists probe and jab at teeth with force, often causing cavitations of early carious lesions and also scratching the surface of the enamel, increasing the chance of decay in the future.
Having the ability to light up the tooth to essentially see "through" the tooth gives us information never before available. The addition to transillumination to our arsenal makes just as much an impact on treatment planning as x-rays did in the past.