It is an exciting time to be a dentist. I have never been more proud of my profession. With technological advances, we are able to see more, and hence do more conservative dentistry. My patients always hear me joke about wishing I had X-ray vision. Well, now I do!
I am so thrilled to introduce Cari-vu to our patients. This camera allows us to look through the whole tooth by transilluminating a near infrared light to help us see cavities in between the teeth, recurrent decay under existing restorations, as well as decay on the chewing surfaces of teeth. It also allows us to see cracks in teeth and help us with diagnostics when it comes to recommending crowns. This is all done without radiation! Although we utilize digital X-rays in our office which have 80-90% less radiation, I still always tend to err on the conservative side when it comes to X-rays. In a sense, Cari-vu allows us to see more than X-rays. Dental X-rays fall short when it comes to seeing decay under present fillings, cracks in teeth and decay that is on the chewing surfaces of teeth. The images we get show decay as a dark lesion within a transilluminated tooth, an image that as dentists we are very familiar with. The view of the carious lesion is in real time, so we know how big that cavity is so we can plan your dental treatment accordingly .
So why take X-rays you ask? Well, it turns out that we can’t have everything. X-rays show decay under crowns, roots of the teeth, as well as bone levels to aid us in diagnosing gum disease. X-rays also show us decay in between the teeth. Cari-Vu can confirm the diagnosis of the cavities in between the teeth so it serves as an adjunct to x-rays. However, Cari-vu does a better job of showing decay under fillings, cracks in teeth and decay on chewing surfaces. So both technologies help us by giving us a built in second opinion. We are able to put the X-ray, the Cari-vu image, along with an intra-oral picture side by side to educate our patients and help decide on a course of treatment. In some cases, Cari-vu may be able to replace X-rays or for our patients not to have X-rays as often. In some instances, we re-take X-rays to get a different view of a suspicious area in a tooth. With this exciting technology, we can avoid taking additional X-rays since it gives us so much information.
At our dental office in Escondido California, we utilize both these technologies to aid us in early diagnosis and prevention. I am always excited about new technology in my thriving field of dentistry, but I have to say this one tops them all! If you would like more information on this futuristic technology, call our office at 760-747-1811. We would love to show you a demo! Also check out our new patient promotions.
Dr. McDonald and team