What Happens When I Find a Cavity?

Finding a cavity is never an exciting experience, but it happens to nearly everyone at some point in their lives. If this is your very first cavity, you may feel some apprehension about your situation. What happens next? Is there anything special you should do? Will the filling process be painful?

Let’s walk you through a day in the life of filling a cavity, so you know exactly what to expect.

Step 1: Finding the Cavity

There are several different symptoms that may help you to recognize if you have a cavity. Each case will be unique, but this list of symptoms is a great place to start. Look out for:

  • Toothaches or spontaneous pain. Especially take note of this if there doesn’t seem to be an apparent cause for the pain.
  • Tooth sensitivity. This can come in many forms, including susceptibility to temperature changes or to sweetness. 
  • Visible holes or pits in your teeth. Any surface damage to your teeth should be looked at by a dentist, whether or not it’s caused by a cavity.
  • Brown, black, or white staining on any surface of a tooth. This can indicate decay of the enamel, or of the softer tissues below the enamel.
  • Pain when you bite down. Whatever the cause of your pain, you deserve to be able to bite, chew, and speak with a healthy and pain-free mouth.

Step 2: Contact Us for an Appointment

The sooner we can diagnose a dental issue, the more we can prevent its spread. Don’t hesitate to seek the healthcare you deserve. If you find any of the above symptoms, talk to us right away and we’ll gladly answer your questions, guide you through your options, and set up an appointment for your care.

Remember: Even if the pain is mild, you should see us about it. Just because you can stand the pain doesn’t mean that you should have to.

Step 3: Cleaning and Filling

Once you’re in the office, and we have diagnosed a cavity, we’re going to clean and fill it.

  1. Cleaning. Cavities involve damage or decay to a portion of your tooth. The cleaning step of the procedure clears out any remaining infection or damaged tissue.
  2. Removed tissue must be replaced, to keep your tooth healthy and intact. This can happen one of two ways. Either:
    1. You will receive a tooth-colored filling. This material is biocompatible and mercury-free, and, as its name suggests, it will fill in the cleaned spaces of your tooth.
    2. Or

    3. You will receive a dental crown. This is a cap that covers the entire tooth, protecting it like the original enamel used to.

The difference between these two options comes down to how much damage has to be repaired. A very small, surface-level cavity might only get a filling, whereas a deep or wide-spread cavity may require a crown.

All of this is done with top-of-the-line dental technology and medical knowledge so that the procedure is as quick, effective, and painless as it can be.

Step 4: Enjoy Your Healthy Teeth

Cleaning a cavity can reduce pain, heal your teeth, and help you get back to your everyday life with no more dental complications. You can now eat, drink, and smile to the fullest!