CariVu Cavity Detection Camera
Until recently, x-rays have been the number one diagnostic tool for the detection of decay (caries) in areas that are not visible by sight. Advances in technology have brought new and more efficient ways of diagnosis to the table. One of the best advances is an intra-oral camera known as Cari-Vu. The Cari-Vu is a very accurate system for detecting decay, with 99% accuracy, improving the current 91% accuracy of digital x-rays. X-rays can be somewhat limiting due to their "view" on crowded teeth and lower radiation exposures (good news, yet bad resolution!). This means that cavities can develop unnoticed in areas until a patient experiences pain or sensitivity. These questionable lesions which sometimes may be referred to as a "watch" can now be diagnosed with Cari-Vu. The camera gets a birds eye view of the tooth, shines a powerful light (near-infrared transillumination) and records the 3D picture revealing the relative density of the tooth structure. All of this is done with NO radiation. We can tour the entire mouth in just a few minutes, and patients can watch the live monitor to see if there are any dark spots right away. X-rays can be tricky to explain, and require a trained eye to see the potential state of a tooth. The Cari-Vu has taken a lot of guesswork out of diagnosing questionable areas of decay. Additionally, the Cari-Vu shows evidence of deep cracks around silver fillings, which often signal the risk of fracture. Patients who have experienced this know all too well that once this happens they are often left with having to place a crown on that tooth. This early detection can ultimately save a tooth from potentially needing a crown, and instead be restored with a tooth colored resin filling. Now patients can be even more in charge of their dental wellness by knowing with confidence what exactly is going on in their mouth. Treating patients with the utmost efficient, reliable, and safe technology, we feel, is the best way to treat a patient. We are very excited to introduce this camera to our patients, and seeing is now believing. Check out the below pictures, the top picture was taken with the CariVu camera and the picture below shows the same cavity once the tooth has been opened up.
Why do we use Digital X-Rays at Drewyer Dentistry?........ For our Patients! We strive to provide the highest level of care for our patients and using digital X-ray technology is one the many cutting edge features of our dental practice. Did you know that digital x-rays reduce radiation exposure up to 90%. This ensures the safest dental visit for you and your family. Digital X-rays are not only safer for you but also safer for our environment. By going digital we eliminate the need for harsh
chemicals and other harmful materials used with traditional film radiography. Another advantage of our digital X-ray system is our ability to provide instant feedback for our patients. Instead of waiting for film X-rays to be developed, we can display digital X-rays in seconds for our patients on a flat screen hanging above each of our patient chairs. We can then magnify and sharpen images right on the computer making it easier to provide patients a faster and more accurate diagnosis.
Sensitive teeth are most often caused by an irritation of the nerve inside your tooth. Cold, hot or even sweets can irritate the nerve through tiny microscopic holes in our enamel called microtubules. Here are some tips to help!
- First, avoid really cold or hot drinks… Duh! And of course limiting sweets also helps avoid tooth decay!
- Use a soft bristle tooth brush and brush in a circular motion. Hard brushing with hard bristles in an up and down or back and forth motion can start to wear away at your enamel and gums, taking away our tooth’s natural protective layer.
- Proper Oral hygiene like brushing twice a day and cleaning between your teeth keep your teeth plaque free. Think of plaque as the acid producing bacteria's home. The longer plaque stays on your tooth the more erosion and potential for sensitivity.
- Use a Sensitivity tooth paste like Sensodyne. These tooth pastes contain potassium nitrate or strontium chloride that help close off microtubules. Rubbing these toothpastes on our teeth before bed or avoiding rinsing after brushing can help increase their effectiveness.
- Be careful! Tooth sensitivity can also result from more serious dental diseases like enamel erosion, abfraction, dental decay or broken teeth. Most of these can be treated by your dentist but the longer you wait the more in depth the procedure may be.
Brushing too hard? Have you ever been told your hard brushing is causing recession of your gums? Here’s a few tips to help:
1. If the bristles on your toothbrush are bent, smashed or don’t resemble anything close to a brush anymore, you are most likely brushing too hard.
2. Try an electric tooth brush, some even come with pressure sensors to keep you from pushing too hard.
3. If you normally hold your toothbrush with your entire fist, hold your toothbrush the same way you would hold a pen or pencil.
4. Always choose a tooth brush with soft bristles and concentrate on brushing in small circles, hard back and forth strokes are more traumatic to your gums.
Brushing before going to sleep every night can help prevent cavities. To start let's talk about how cavities form. Bacteria that live in all our mouths and on our teeth eat the same sugars we eat, including sweets and other carbohydrates like breads and pastas. After consuming these sugars, the bacteria, called Streptococcus Mutans, produce an acidic byproduct that erodes the enamel in our teeth causing a cavity. During the day and especially while eating a meal, our bodies produce saliva to aid in digestion. This saliva is also our bodies top defense against cavity causing bacteria. Saliva contains proteins and minerals which help combat the acid byproduct that causes cavities and aids in washing away food particles that get stuck on our teeth. Unfortunately, at night our body stops producing saliva at the same rate as during the day and puts our teeth at risk for decay. That means it is extra important to get rid of any food remnants in our mouths before bedtime, a time when our mouth isn't protected by our saliva and can easily become an acidic environment, an environment cavities love. So make sure you brush before bed!
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