CariVuTechnological advancements continue to enable dentists to provide better treatment, and this is particularly true with CariVu, a tool for locating cavities and cracks in teeth. CariVu doesn’t use radiation, and it is especially useful at spotting cavities in areas that are difficult to see, such as between teeth and around old silver/white fillings.

CariVu gives dentists and dental hygienists a window into your oral health by capturing still images using safe near-infrared light (transillumination) which is light that you can feel but cannot see with your eyes. Think of a warm campfire or the heat from the sun – that’s infrared.

The images captured by CariVu can be immediately viewed on a computer screen by you, your dentist, and your dental hygienist. This simple exam is painless and can be repeated as often as necessary because it uses no radiation. Even though CariVu is an X-ray alternative, it doesn’t replace X-rays as the standard of care for diagnosis in dentistry, but rather reduces the need for them by giving us different diagnostic information.

Here’s how CariVu works:

  • Flexible arms fit around your tooth and wash it in light.
  • The tooth takes on a translucent appearance and enables dental professionals to see into it.
  • The built-in camera captures images as still photos.

Although healthy tooth enamel appears transparent in CariVu images, areas where tooth decay and cracks exist absorb the light and appear dark in the images. It gives valuable information as to the location, size, shape and extent of the cavity or crack from which Dr. Dennis Rinaldi can determine the best course of action.

CariVu is 99 percent accurate in finding cavities between teeth and can often pick them up earlier than an X-ray. Tooth decay that is caught in its earliest stages can sometimes be reversed with preventive therapies such as fluoride treatments and improved oral hygiene. It can also reveal cracks which if undiagnosed can reach the inside of the tooth and set you up for a root canal or even the loss of your tooth. Come in and ask for a CariVu exam.