Patients receiving regular dental care will typically get x-rays once a year. These annual x-rays are an important diagnostic tool. They show cavities forming long before the naked eye can detect them, allowing dental professionals to treat them before the patient experiences pain or loses the tooth involved. We are excited to offer a revolutionary alternative to x-rays at our dental office – the CariVu. Read on to see what we love about it!
The Benefits of Cavity Detection
Tooth decay left untreated for too long can lead to difficulties eating, infection or tooth loss. Cavities can occur on the sides or biting surfaces of the teeth and can spread from tooth to tooth if left alone.
Current Tooth Decay Detection Methods
For years, dentists have relied upon visual inspections and x-rays to locate and diagnose cavities. While these methods are beneficial, they also have drawbacks. Cavities found during visual inspections are fairly advanced and may be more complicated to fill. X-rays can detect tooth decay earlier, but are unable to detect cavities on the biting surface of the tooth.
In addition, some patients need to avoid x-ray exposure. Although the newer digital x-ray machines put out very little radiation, pregnant women or patients coping with certain illnesses may need to completely avoid exposure – that’s now possible with CariVu!
The Newest Method of Detecting Cavities
A new technology, which we’re proud to offer our patients, makes it possible to detect cavities earlier and without exposure to radiation. The CariVu by DEXIS is a portable, powerful device that detects cavities using illumination. The CariVu works by hugging each tooth and bathing it in infrared light. This makes the tooth enamel appear transparent while areas of decay absorb the light and appear darker. In many cases, the CariVu can diagnose cavities before they are seen on x-ray images.
This illumination provides us with an exact picture of the tooth’s structure and the shape and structure of the cavity, allowing it to be filled with greater accuracy. When combined with x-rays and visual assessment, the CariVu images provide us with a complete picture of your oral health.
For patients needing to avoid radiation, the CariVu enables us to detect cavities and prevent them from becoming worse. Even if no cavities are detected we can use the images to recommend preventative care options.
How We Use CariVu
At our office in New York, the CariVu is an important tool for providing our patients with the best dental care possible. We’re excited to offer it both as an alternative to x-rays for patients who need to avoid radiation and as an additional diagnostic tool for patients with areas we suspect may have tooth decay that isn’t appearing on the x-rays. We use it as part of a comprehensive treatment plan to ensure each of our patients has the best possible oral health. Give us a call for more information.