Does the CariVu help in some ways that Xrays cannot?

Yes, it is easier to use than a Xray and it can help find things that x-rays cannot pick up.

How is it different from an x-ray

With the CariVu you get a better angle because the tip of the tool can be positioned around all angles of the tooth. An X-ray on the other hand only shows a two-dimensional view of a three-dimensional object so certain elements of the tooth, cavity or crack may not be clear.

What types of patients do you find are concerned about exposure to radiation

It just depends on the patient but some of the older patients are concerned about it may sincerely be concerned about too much exposure to radiation. Some of this concern may have come from many decades ago before digital X-ray so people may have just carried along this concern.

Are Dental X-Rays safe

Nowadays digital x rays have less radiation than using your cell phone so you actually have more radiation using your cell phone and from sitting in front of a computer screen than you do getting a dental X-ray. Many people don’t realize that dental x-rays use only a fraction of the radiation that is used by a medical x-ray. So the amount of radiation in a digital dental x-ray is just a trace amount compared to what you would experience at the hospital to x-ray a broken bone. But the problem is the stigma of radiation may still exist.  The other concern that patients have about X-Rays is that they may not be able to afford them or their insurance may not cover the cost. The CariVu is a great alternative to satisfy either of these patient concerns since it doesn’t use any radiation and there is no cost to the patient.  

Are there times when you use the CariVu in conjunction with X-rays?

Yes, there are still certain types of tooth issues that are better to spot and diagnose with each of the tools that we have. Sometimes we use both the X-ray and CariVu. For instance, if we took an X-ray and the area in question is blurry or its limited by the two-dimensional aspect of the X-ray then we will look more closely at the CariVu. On the other hand, if the issue leads to something below the gumline or something that we can’t tell we can do an x-ray they play off each other. Ideally, from the Dentist perspective, it would be great to use both for every appointment but since that can’t always be the case we use the best tool for the job.