Smile You're On Cuspid Camera

Ever thought about watching a video of your teeth? A French X-ray company, Trophy Radiologie, has developed a technique for obtaining detailed dental images while also reducing exposure to radiation by 90%. The key to this technology--called RadioVisioGraphy or RVG--is that it eliminates X-ray film. Instead, a tongue-depressor-shaped sensor is placed in the mouth. The sensor instantly relays X-ray signals to a screen in the office, shortening the exposure time needed to create an X-ray image on film.

The video image can be enlarged and adjusted for more contrast, and a copy can be printed out for a patient's records. RVG is now used in Europe and was recently approved by the Food & Drug Administration for use in the U. S. The RVG equipment is expensive--around $27,500, vs. $5,000 for a traditional X-ray machine. But Dr. Charles A. Babbush, an oral surgeon at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in Cleveland, believes that in five years the technology will replace today's dental X-rays.

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