How Do You Detect Cavities?

Only about 1-2% of the population is immune to dental caries. That means the vast majority of the population may develop a cavity at some point. How does a doctor detect cavities? Once found, what options are available to treat a cavity and protect a patient’s oral health? Knowing more about this common oral health concern is essential for safeguarding your smile.

How Does the Doctor Detect Cavities? Quiz

  1. True or False: Cavities can eventually endanger the tooth’s stability.
  2. True or False: A toothache may be a warning sign.
  3. True or False: The doctor uses advanced technology to detect cavities.
  4. True or False: We can treat tooth decay with a filling or crown.

Answer Key

  1. True. Over time, a cavity can continue to grow until bacteria come in contact with the inner pulp. The pulp is a bundle of living tissue, the nerve center of the tooth. Bacteria can cause an infection to form, one that may eventually require a root canal or possibly an extraction to address.
  2. True. Initially, you may experience tooth sensitivity, particularly to hot or cold temperatures. Later, you may notice a full-blown toothache. If you encounter discomfort in your tooth don’t ignore the symptoms, instead contact our office for a diagnosis.
  3. True. With the right technology, the doctor can identify decay in the earliest possible stages, often before the cavity completely forms. In order to do this, the doctor relies on intraoral cameras, digital x-rays, and the DIAGNOdent laser system, which can often identify decay that x-rays or intraoral cameras may miss.
  4. True. For most cases of decay we can place a metal-free dental filling in a single visit. For more serious cavities we can place a dental crown. Using CEREC technology, we can actually design and create a crown in a single visit using lifelike ceramic materials and CAD/CAM technology.