Using fluorescence to detect decay allows much earlier diagnosis and treatment. We have found that when we treat cavities detected with fluorescence, they are small and shallow. When we wait until there is a soft spot in the tooth (a "stick" with our instrument) the cavities are often quite advanced, and large, deep fillings need to be placed. Larger cavities require removal of more tooth structure and cause more inflammation inside the tooth. This can lead to sensitivity, a weakened tooth, or the need for root canal treatment. Those risks are significantly reduced by early detection and repair of decay.