Although dental X-rays are considered safe for both young children and pregnant women, the bigger challenge for very young patients is to get them to bite down and stay still long enough to capture a clear image. Additionally, an expectant mother may not want to expose the baby to any level of radiation, which is perfectly understandable.
The CariVu is a new dental technology that uses a pen-sized light that illuminates the tooth in a way to see through the tooth and capture a photograph of it. From the patient’s perspective, it is very much like the intraoral cameras that we’ve been using for 15 years. Unlike a dental x-ray, the image captured with the CariVu can be captured from many different angles, allowing Dr. Voyles to see cracks and cavities that were unable to be seen before. The procedure is painless. The dental staff simply places the flexible rubber tip down over the tooth. An infrared light shines onto the tooth to illuminate the surface and essentially shine through the tooth. The images are then sent to the computer just like the camera you may have seen in a dentist office for years. Unlike that camera, these images can look through the tooth at cracks and cavities.
The CariVu is a “Godsend” for some patients since it doesn’t rely on them having to bite down on anything or stay still for more than just a second. The kids actually think its fun to get the photos taken of their teeth and it’s easy and safe. Also sometimes with young kids, they may be uncomfortable or gag with the dental x-ray procedures. The CariVu is just simpler, easier and more comfortable for everybody involved! The CariVu is also a safe option for pregnant women that simply may not be comfortable having any level of radiation exposure. If this is the case but they are having some type of tooth pain or discomfort then we now have this tool to help diagnose the issue without any level of radiation.