CariVu: More Information, Better Treatment

At Prosper Family Dentistry, we remain committed to the highest quality of dental care utilizing the latest advances in dental technology.  One of the technologies we have invested in, the CariVu, gives us more detailed information about your teeth using no radiation.  We also adhere to traditional standards of care, which includes dental x-rays.  When we combine a screening set of x-rays with a CariVu examination of your teeth, we have the most detailed information available, which allows us to help you make the most informed decisions about your care.

What is CariVu?

CariVu is a small tool that uses a bright light (near infrared on the visible light spectrum) to illuminate the inside of a tooth.  It does not use any radiation at all.  The CariVu wand not only allows Dr. Jill and Dr. Cara to see within each tooth; it allows them to take a high-definition photo and show it to you!

What Does CariVu Show?Slide2

CariVu shows any defect in the hard structure of a tooth, including cavities, cracks, and other weak areas.  Anything that is not healthy enamel and dentin (the tooth structure just underneath the outer coating of enamel) will appear dark in the CariVu photo because it does not reflect light in the same way.  These shadows actually provide a more accurate picture of how large a cavity or crack truly is.

Limitations of Dental X-Rays

Traditional X-ray showing Minor Cavity
CariVu Image showing Full Extent of Decay
Actual Decay within Tooth, which correlates to the CariVu Image

Dental x-rays are the standard of care for the diagnosis of cavities.  We use digital x-ray technology to reduce the radiation to its lowest possible level for both your safety and ours.  X-rays do not provide information on the exact extent of a cavity, though.  Typically, an x-ray will show the cavity as smaller than it is in reality.  Because of this, dentists usually assume that a cavity is larger in real-life than it is on an x-ray.  Assumptions do not make for the most accurate diagnoses.

CariVu + Digital X-Rays = Accuracy  

What You Can Expect from a CariVu Exam

When Dr. Jill and Dr. Cara evaluate your teeth, whether at your very first visit or a professional teeth-cleaning visit, they will assess your risk for cavities and cracked teeth.  When something looks suspicious, the CariVu will provide answers.

The tool itself is shaped much like our small intraoral cameras, and it has rubber “arms” that wrap snugly around each tooth.  Once the CariVu is “hugging” your tooth, Dr. Jill and Dr. Cara spend time getting the perfect picture so they can show you what they see within your tooth.  Then, based on what the CariVu shows, they will recommend the treatment options available to fix your exact problem.

Benefits of CariVu

The CariVu tool, in its greater accuracy, allows us to detect cavities and cracks earlier.  Early detection is important in any type of disease.  Early detection allows you to stop the progression before much damage has occurred.  In dentistry, early detection means your dental treatment is usually less extensive and less expensive.

The opposite is also true.  By waiting until a cavity is obvious and large on a dental x-ray, the treatment will be more involved and typically cost more.

The CariVu gives you the chance at more conservative dental treatment, which saves you both time and money.

Ready to Schedule a CariVu Exam?

Call Prosper Family Dentistry today at 972-347-1145 to schedule a visit with Dr. Jill and Dr. Cara.  They are happy to show you an up-close, high-def view of the inside of your teeth with our wonderful CariVu technology.

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