Team DEXIS recently sat down with Dr. Rich Stuart who is a prosthodontist in Indianapolis, Indiana. Here are some of his personal experiences about caries detection over the years that he's been practicing dentistry.
"Years ago, when I purchased my DIAGNOdent™ Classic (KaVo) for caries detection, I was impressed by how it could tell us about the presence of decay—it was state-of-the-art back then. When patients heard that 'DIAGNOdent beep' indicating decay, they became more interested and a part of the co-diagnosis process. Then, the challenge was to keep them interested and informed. Visualization is a big part of that process. Before I had CariVu™, during restorative procedures, I would take an intra-oral photograph before and then half-way through the procedure to show the patient exactly where the decay was.
Recently, I heard about and subsequently invested in a CariVu transillumination caries detection device. I remember thinking that it would be phenomenal if it really can detect interproximal and recurrent decay since DIAGNOdents do not have that function. Thankfully, it delivered on that promise. Now, instead of listening for beeps, I have visual confirmation! CariVu images look similar to X-rays—although this unit does not emit any ionizing radiation, and the patient and I can actually see the tooth structure and the decay, which appears as a dark area.
Some forms of decay are not visible on X-ray, especially in early stages. Some patients ask me to show them decay on the X-ray, and when I tell them that they cannot see their particular type on the X-ray, they are confused about why I want to open the tooth. Even professionals can have doubts.
My sister is both a pediatric dentist and my patient. When I found interproximal decay on her with CariVu, she revisited her bitewing X-ray and said, "No way. There's nothing there." I showed her the CariVu image and responded, "Believe me, there is!" As I excavated the decay, we took CariVu images and intra-oral photographs as we progressed down through the tooth, and it was nothing... nothing... then Bingo! There it was! That's because CariVu can detect caries earlier in some cases than radiographs* and has a 99%** accuracy rate. In my opinion, CariVu images will become the standard of care at some point.
The only downside to CariVu is that I don't have a second one. I need to get one for our hygiene room. The hygienists are running to get it, and sometimes I run by and snag it out of their hands, too—good thing it's portable. CariVu is a great tool to monitor patients who are not due for X-rays, for pregnant women, or the radiation averse. But I use it for every patient, even those who allow X-rays. A combination of digital radiographs, intra-oral camera images and CariVu provide a whole package that makes a huge difference for dental health."
Thanks for sharing, Dr. Stuart!
If you want to know more about how CariVu can help you in your quest to detect caries, check out www.dexis.com/carivu.
*Söchtig, F, et al. Caries detection and diagnostics with near-infrared light transillumination: Clinical experiences. Quintessence Int 2014; 45:531-538.
**Kühnisch J. Benefits of the DIAGNOcam Procedure for the Detection and Diagnosis of Caries [study project]. Munich: Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich; 2013.
Indications for use for CariVu can be found at www.dexis.com/ifu
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of Dr. Stuart and do not necessarily represent those of DEXIS, LLC or the KaVo Kerr Group. Dr. Stuart has no financial interests in DEXIS and was not compensated for this article.