Hi, it's Mia Armonde here to talk to you about family dentistry. As my small family grew into a large one, I found myself at the dental office on a regular basis. Every six months, the kids would go into the dentist for a cleaning or repairs to their teeth. During that time, I took an interest in the various ways the dental tools were evolving. Tools used in the dental industry have grown in leaps and bounds in the last few decades. For example, my kids went from hearing the dental drill to wearing headphones that completely canceled out the sound. Each time we go back into the dentist, I take a close look at the improvements that have arisen since the last visit. The results are astounding. I will cover my findings on this site, so you can also enjoy the improvements to dental tools and techniques.
If your teeth feel fine, they should be fine, right? Not always. It's not a real surprise to find that you have a cavity when you haven't had any pain (well, it might be a surprise to you, but it's not to your dentist). Cavities can form in any spot on your tooth, and they do not always lead to the stereotypical pain that seems to hit characters in sitcoms and cartoons. If you've been told you have a cavity and aren't sure if it's true, you have every right to see the X-rays -- but realize that your personal pain tolerance, cavity location, nerve location, and the severity of the cavity all could create decay that you don't realize is there.
Pain Is Personal
Pain is a very personal thing. What hurts one person might not hurt another. Your cavity could be tiny and not near a nerve. Maybe it's huge, but it's not in a location that you find painful. There's no real way to tell if someone will experience pain or not. Of course, you should be happy that you didn't feel any pain, although it did mean that the cavity likely went unnoticed for longer than it should have.
The X-Rays Win
Cavities aren't diagnosed by how much tooth pain you have. After all, you could have severe pain from sensitive teeth, and sensitivity isn't caused by cavities. If your dentist says you have a cavity in a tooth, look at the X-rays of that tooth for spots where the enamel has been breached. If the cavity is on the top/bottom of a molar or along the areas between teeth, the X-ray will show the dark spot of the cavity poking through the layer of enamel. (If you have darkish areas on the tooth's surface, but the enamel on the X-ray looks intact, those exterior spots are most likely stains.)
Cavities that are on the flatter exposed sides of the tooth are harder to see as breaches on the X-rays (because the X-ray looks at the enamel dead on there, rather from the side), but the X-ray will still show a dark spot inside the tooth. Decay starts on the outside of the tooth, so if you see a dark spot inside the tooth on the X-ray, that's a sign there's been a breach. Stain will not really show up on X-rays this way.
Luckily, modern filling technology is so good that, other than the novocaine recovery time, taking care of a cavity is a snap. Dentists know that no one wants to hear the drill and often provide headphones as well as TV monitors and other distractions. You no longer have to worry about icky treatments if you've been told you have a cavity because filling it is now a relatively quick task.
Speak to your local dentist to learn more.Share
19 March 2019