A recent study found that 91 percent of American adults have dental caries. Now, you might be wondering what dental caries is. Simply put, it is the scientific name for cavities or tooth decay. Bacteria and acid erosion cause cavities to form. Most dentists use x-rays and dental tools, such as an explorer, to identify cavity-ridden teeth. However, Knoxville, TN dentist Dr. Ruth Bailey has invested in the latest dental tool, Cari Vu, for early cavity detection.

At your dental checkup, Dr. Bailey will perform a visual inspection for signs of tooth decay (cavities). She will take dental x-rays, as well as use Cari Vu to reveal cavities. From there, she will recommend appropriate treatment and share ways to prevent future decay.

Your dental checkup should be scheduled every six months, in order to maintain a healthy mouth. Call 865-588-1294 to schedule your biannual examination with Dr. Bailey in Knoxville, TN today.

How Are Cavities Formed?

When you consume sugary foods or carbohydrates, the bacteria in your mouth turn these substances into an acid, which erodes protective tooth enamel. Underneath strong enamel is a softer tissue, dentin. If cavities aren’t treated in a timely manner, harmful bacteria can seep through tiny pores in tooth enamel, passing through the dentin, ultimately reaching the dental pulp and tooth root.

Once the tooth root becomes infected with bacteria, it must be removed, in order to save the tooth. Dr. Bailey will recommend root canal therapy to remove the inflamed pulp and clean the bacteria from the inside of the tooth. The procedure is finalized with a porcelain crown, which seals the tooth from future bacterial infection and provides strength. In extreme cases, she recommends removing the damaged tooth and replacing it with a dental implant and porcelain crown.

Early Detection with Cari Vu at Your Dental Checkup

To save natural teeth and prevent the need for root canal therapy, Dr. Bailey uses Cari Vu to reveal cavities in their earliest stages. Cari Vu is a new dental tool that uses transillumination technology to uncover cavities before they appear on x-rays. Cari Vu is convenient because it is portable and compact.

Dr. Bailey incorporates the use of this dental tool during biannual checkups to save patients money in the long run. Rather than letting cavities remain undetected, Cari Vu exposed tooth decay early on, eliminating the need to restorative dental work. In the past, unrevealed tooth decay led to tooth extraction, root canal therapy, and other dental procedures.

When the light from Cari Vu shines onto teeth, cavities absorb the light, while enamel appears transparent. This gives Dr. Bailey the ability to see through the tooth. With Cari Vu, there is no need to remove bacteria before using the tool. Additionally, Dr. Bailey doesn’t need to calibrate Cari Vu before using it. Aside from solely benefiting Dr. Bailey, these two factors allow patients to get in and out of their dental checkups in a timely manner.

Treating Cavities

If Dr. Bailey discovers a cavity, she recommends a dental filling for correction. First, she cleans the tooth to remove bacteria and plaque. Next she fills the tiny hole with composite resin. She recommends this material over metal because it appears natural, meaning your corrected tooth won’t stand out from the rest. Composite resin is cured with a special light, which allows the resin to become strong and durable.

For more information about Cari Vu and cavities, call 865-588-1294 today to schedule your dental checkup with Knoxville, TN dentist Dr. Bailey.

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