I am no stranger to having a cavity. Blame it on porous teeth, water quality, my chronic aversion to flossing. But I’ve found myself in the dentist’s chair with a poor prognosis more than I care to admit. Needless to say, I’ve gotten pretty good at going to the dentist. So if you think you’ve got your first cavity, let me give you some advice – because it’s honestly not as bad as you think!
How do you know if you have a cavity in the first place? Contrary to popular belief, they don’t all cause toothache (but believe me, some do). Sometimes you’ll notice tooth sensitivity or pain when you’re biting down. Other times it will just be a black or brown spot on your tooth that doesn’t go away no matter how much you brush it.
If you aren’t in overwhelming pain, or increased sensitivity only means making the switch from iced to hot coffee, you may be tempted to ignore your symptoms. Don’t! There are very few physical ailments that go away – most things just get worse. This statement is especially true in dentistry. Your tiny inconvenient cavity can and will spiral out of control. Without proper care, it’s possible for cavities to get infected and turn into dental abscesses. These threaten the muscles and bones in your face. It’s gross, painful, and expensive stuff.
Finding the right dentist
Okay, I’ve scared you into booking an appointment to get that potential cavity looked at; now what? You find a dentist of course. This is easier said than done. It can be tough to know what to look for in a sea of clinics. With all my experience at the dentist, I’ve come to think of myself as a bit of a connoisseur.
I value going to a dentist who makes me feel relaxed before my procedure. Both your physical and mental state will play a role in making your cavity experience a good one. When someone is drilling into your molar, you want to be in a pleasant environment. Or, at the very least, one where the waiting room guppies aren’t floating at the top of the tank. Trust me, if they don’t want to be there, neither do you.
Smiles on 34th is known for their caring and careful work. They use high quality and high tech tools to perform all of their cavity procedures. That means your cavity appointment will always be as quick and painless as possible – which is really the best thing a cavity appointment can be. Additionally, they’re renowned for their friendly staff and welcoming environment that makes patients automatically feel at ease.
And while finding a competent dentist is obviously important, there is nothing as important as finding a kind dentist. I’ve had the unfortunate experience of being reprimanded by dentists for my cavities. Am I a flossing role model? No! But I swear, it’s not all my fault. Being judged in the chair makes you feel like you won’t be listened to with the compassion and respect that all patients deserve. When you have a cavity, look for a dentist who’s friendly, caring, and polite. Smiles on 34th has a staff known for being exactly that.
What to expect
Now that you’ve found the perfect dentist, it’s time to go in for your appointment. You may require a consult before treating your cavity. However, if you are in serious tooth pain, the dentist will likely have you in for a full appointment as soon as possible.
So – how is a cavity actually fixed? It will depend on how severe your cavity is. If you’ve caught it early on, lucky you. It could go away simply with fluoride treatments. If the cavity has created a hole in the tooth, you’ll need to get a filling. A filling is the most common option for treating a cavity.
I hate to tell you this, but “filling” is a bit misleading. I think a more accurate name would be “drilling” because before the dentist can close up the hole in your tooth, they must get rid of the tooth decay! But worry not. If you’ve heeded my advice, your dentist will ensure the area is numb and that you are nice and comfortable before drilling begins. You’ll also be able to stop them anytime should things get painful.
There are other methods to filling a cavity if it advances and begins to impact the integrity of your teeth. These include root canals, crowns, and extractions. As unpleasant as all these procedures sound, modern technology has made them relatively fast and painless. And enduring these procedures is far better than the alternative of living in pain and threatening your health.
Don’t forget to book a checkup
Okay, finally, no more cavity. You are free, right? Wrong! Dental health is a lifelong commitment. Part of the reason it is so important to find a dentist who is kind, and friendly, and doesn’t have creepy posters in the waiting room is that you two are committed to each other. It’s recommended that you go to your dentist for a checkup every six months. This means you’ll be seeing your dentist twice a year for what is hopefully a very long life.
If you have a cavity, there is no need to panic. Yes, it can be an unpleasant experience, but finding a dentist who prioritizes patient comfort can make all the difference! That’s why Smiles on 34th offers personalized care and treatment options to make you more relaxed and comfortable. Their cavity and restoration services are all performed with the utmost care. And they are always willing to collaborate with clients to find the best plan of action.