Doppler technology helps us predict storms... and now similar technology is helping dentists see if a cavity storm is brewing in your mouth.
NBC's Marianne Favro shows us how it's helping patients prevent tooth decay.
Dentist: "So you're going to put those glasses on for me."
christin quarry is a busy nursing student who admits she hasn't been to the dentist in a while.
she wants to see how her teeth are doing.
and this technology is enabling her to do that, without an xray.
dr. parag kachalia is using spectra technology to get this sophisticated image of her tooth.
Dr. Parag Kachalia, dentist: "There's no radiation that's being used on an image like this."
the blue indicates a high level of bacteria and the red means the bacteria is already starting to penetrate the tooth enamel.
Dr. Parag Kachalia, dentist: "If I see an area where there's a concern, whether it's in a very very early stage we can actually implement preventive therapies. So we don't have to get to a filling. We can talk about different floride regimens, different brushing techniques."
because these pictures capture decay early, even if patients require a filling... they often only need a tiny one. which may not even require anesthesia.
these pictures also motivate patients to improve their habits, because they can clearly see the problem zones in their mouth.
Dr. Parag Kachalia, dentist: "Here you're looking straight at your tooth going oh my goodness, ok I do have to floss or yeah I need to brush more."
the images also provide a great baseline picture for christin... so when she comes back she'll be able to see if the changes she plans to make really are making a difference in her mouth.
the spectra technology also has no radiation, easing safety concerns for some patients.