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When you visit the dentist, you may be surprised if you are told that you have a cavity. Since most cavities are painless, you may not know that you have tooth decay. Once the cavity reaches the underlying dentin only then may you feel pain.

Once cavities reach this stage your tooth may have increased sensitivity to cold or sugary foods and beverages. Cavities also cause teeth to break since the tooth decay will weaken the tooth and cause it to fracture when you bite down hard.

It is important to go to dental check-ups to see if you have cavities before they become painful. Once you feel sensitivity from a cavity, it may have spread to the dental pulp, so a root canal or tooth extraction may be necessary.

Here are the steps the dentist takes to determine if you have a cavity, and how the cavity is fixed:

  • During an examination, the dentist probes the tooth surface with a dental instrument for cavities. If a soft spot is felt or the tooth looks brown or black, a cavity may be present.
  • The dentist also takes X-rays to see if there is any decay between teeth or under the gumline.
  • Once the cavity is found an appointment is made to get the cavity filled.
  • At the next appointment, the dentist will give you a local anesthetic, so you don’t feel any pain during the procedure.
  • Then a dental drill is used to remove the decayed part of the tooth. Then the tooth will be filled with white resin, porcelain, silver or gold.

If you do have a cavity, it is a simple and pain-free procedure to get it fixed. But if the cavity spreads, it becomes more complicated. Contact the Lakeway Center for Cosmetic and Family Dentistry today to make an appointment, and kick off 2013 with great dental health.