A new view on caries

There is no one better placed to share the truth about using new technology in a clinical setting than a fellow general dental practitioner, and this is something Dr Chris Branfield feels strongly about. He believes in telling it like it is – whether he’s speaking to a patient or an audience of colleagues.

Over the last few months, Chris has been making good use of Kavo’s Diagnocam and is excited to let other dentists know about the reality of this exciting new diagnostic tool, which uses transillumination technology to identify caries sooner and more safely (ie without X-ray).

Completely revealing

Chris’ story begins with an ethos embracing minimally invasive dentistry combined with a desire to acquire the best diagnostic tools for the job. Coming across Diagnocam and being impressed by its description, it wasn’t long before Chris had arranged with Kavo for Castle Park Dental Care to trial the diagnostic device.

Chris comments: ‘For diagnosing cracks it’s absolutely fantastic and when you’re looking for decay within enamel it’s more accurate than an X-ray. You can use it on its own to view the mesial, distal, buccal and lingual, or with an X-ray to view the apical too.

‘At the Innovations in Dentistry Symposium, I will be sharing with delegates my experience from a general dentist’s point of view. I’m a straight talker, so when I explain the simplicity of Diagnocam, how it can be used for prevention and monitoring, and that it offers an alternative route for dealing with early decay, you can be sure I really mean it.

‘And actually, it’s a win-win situation because the truth is that if you’re in any doubt, you can still use your traditional tools as an adjunct. I think the more you use it, the more you’ll find it’s accurate and learn to rely on it. I completely understand that you can’t trust anything 100% from the off.

‘Diagnocam has not only shown up caries that an X-ray misses, it has also demonstrated that the situation is not as bad as we first thought. Either way, it’s helping us to continue with our commitment to minimally invasive dentistry.’

An educational tool

Diagnocam links directly to a screen so that dentists can share and discuss the diagnosis and next steps with their patients there and then.

‘It’s fantastic for patient education,’ says Chris. ‘The biggest hurdle in healthcare and in practice is building trust. With Diagnocam you’ve got a picture that the patient can see on a big screen and you can explain what they’re seeing until they understand, allowing for true informed consent. It allows for credibility, proof and trust, and that’s massive.   

‘For example, you can show the patient early decay confined to the enamel. So, at this point in time, you can tell the patient that if they brush with toothpaste with a high concentration of fluoride, floss and sort their diet out, there is a really good chance this will not progress. We can say we’ll keep an eye on it but they need to do their part.

‘Diagnocam helps to encourage lifestyle changes through communication. When a patient can see their tooth and it is recognisable as such, I think that makes a big difference when committing to oral healthcare at home.’

The future’s illuminating

Chris was delighted to discover that Diagnocam is so easy to use he didn’t need to undergo any training.

He states: ‘It’s so intuitive you don’t need training. Load the disc, plug in the handpiece and you’re off. Input the patient’s details, which takes seconds, and you’re ready to go live. You place the device on the tooth and take a picture. You’re shining a light through a tooth and taking a picture of it. What you see is your diagnosis. You can repeat this on as many teeth as you like.

‘If you want to be ahead of the crowd, and if you’re interested in minimally invasive dentistry, patient communication and building trust, the Innovations in Dentistry Symposium is where you need to be!’

To learn more about Diagnocam, why not join Chris and his esteemed colleagues this July at the Innovations in Dentistry Symposium to learn from the best and achieve the best?

Kerr is delighted, alongside Sybron Endo, Henry Schein Dental and Kavo, to be staging the Innovations in Dentistry Symposium – ‘For the Art of the Smile’ – in 2014.

During this two-day event, leading speakers, including Robbie McConnell, Chris Orr, Gianluca Gambarini and Chris Branfield, will discuss the latest in restorative dentistry, endodontics and equipment.

On 3 July at Altitude 360 in Westminster, dental professionals can choose from a range of lectures to suit their needs, accruing six hours of verifiable CPD (continuous professional development). Then, on 4 July, dentists can attend restorative and/or endodontic hands-on sessions worth three hours of verifiable CPD at Henry Schein’s Marble Arch showroom.

For further information or to book you place, please email [email protected] or call 0845 873 6299.


Dr Chris Branfield graduated from Leeds Dental School in 1992. Since then he has invested heavily in his postgraduate education and trained under some of the best dentists in this country and abroad.

Chris is the principal of Castle Park Dental Care in Hull. He is committed to the total dental wellbeing of his patients and has a special interest in tooth replacement therapy and dental rehabilitation with dental implants, especially for those who struggle and suffer with dentures. 

Chris’ passion for minimally invasive dentistry had led him to study the scientific advances of dental materials and equipment, and to incorporate these into his practice on a daily basis.

Chris is a committee member of the Hull and East Riding British Dental Association (BDA) section and is involved in running training courses for dentists and dental teams.

He takes referrals for dental implants, cosmetic dentistry and complex treatments from several dentists, and treats other dentists and their family members. 

Chris is also a founder member, trustee and clinical advisor of the Dental Mavericks charity (www.dentalmavericks.org), which provides pain free dental care for children in remote areas of the world. To date, Chris has made several charitable trips to different parts of Morocco and recently joined up with the Eve Branson Foundation caring for young girls in the Atlas Mountains.

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