New Cavity Detection Technology

Our promise to you as your dental provider is to stay on the forefront of the latest technology that can benefit your oral health. It is our great pleasure to introduce CariVu™ to you.

Cavities, also called caries or tooth decay, are nobody’s friend. In fact, did you know the word “caries” is Latin for "rottenness"? Tooth decay is a breakdown of teeth due to acids made by bacteria. Acid from bacteria dissolves the hard tissues of the tooth - enamel, dentin, and cementum. Worldwide, approximately 2.3 billion people (32% of the population) have dental caries in their permanent teeth, thus making it a very widespread and common problem.

The many causes of cavities include bacteria, snacking, sipping sugary drinks, and, in some cases, poor teeth cleaning. While there may be no symptoms, cavities left untreated can cause severe toothache, infection and tooth loss.

As you can see, cavity detection is crucial and a large reason why twice yearly exam and cleaning appointments are so beneficial. If caught early, treatments may range from fluoride to a filling. If the cavity or tooth decay is allowed to further progress, the structure and root of the tooth is compromised leaving treatment options at crown, root canal or removal.

X-rays have long been and still are a trusted source of accurate tooth decay detection. However, some cavities in their very early stages are nearly hidden. Amalgam fillings also sometimes block the x-ray view of a cavity. For these hidden cavities, we now have CariVu.

CariVu uses what’s called a patented transillumination technology to identify occlusal (on the chewing surface), interproximal (between the teeth), and recurrent (affecting the same area) cavities and tiny cracks even in the beginning stages. The CariVu patented technology bathes the tooth in near-infrared light. The light causes the enamel to appear transparent, and any cavities to appear dark. The image produced is highly accurate giving us the best read of our patients’ mouths possible, allowing us to detect and treat decay much earlier, therefore, more conservatively!

Dr. Rosie Marquez put CariVu to the test recently. As a Dentist and one who obviously is passionate about optimal oral care, Dr. Marquez follows all of her own rules. She brushes twice daily and sometimes more. She flosses daily and keeps her bi-annual hygiene appointments. So you can imagine the surprise, and dismay, she felt when her own small cavity was discovered recently in the training for CariVu! If unexpected cavities can be found even in your dentist’s mouth, we’re certain that this amazing technology is a great investment for the health of all of our patients. As always, we encourage you to keep those dental appointments. We look forward to taking care of you soon.