What To Know About Cavities That Cannot Easily Be Seen

Many people get cavities at some point in their life, with 90 percent of adults having at least one. When you think of a cavity, you may imagine having a filling put into the chewing surface of one of your rear molars where it can easily be seen. However, not all cavities are easy to identify. Sometimes cavities can be hidden between your teeth where you cannot easily reach them. Here are a few things that you need to know about these types of cavities.

X-Rays Are Needed To Find All Cavities 

It is often that a dentist or hygienist finds a cavity by simply prodding the surface of your teeth with a dental scaler. They can see the decay and identify where the tooth is soft. In order to see between your teeth, an x-ray will need to be taken. 

The dentist will find a cavity between your teeth by looking for dark areas. This is because the enamel on the outside of the tooth is going to be white on the x-ray due to it being a hard material, and when the enamel is missing due to a cavity, it will look like a dark spot. This is because the dentin underneath is soft and less dense. Dentists pay close attention to the areas between your teeth on an x-ray because they are depending on it to identify cavities in places that can't see.

Cavities Between The Teeth Require More Work

When you have a cavity on your chewing surface, the dentist will just need to drill away that visible decay so that they can put the filling in it. This is not as easy when the cavity is between your teeth.

If the cavity is not that far down from the top surface of your teeth, your dentist may drill from the top so that they can reach the decay. The hole in your tooth will then be filled with a filling material. While more of the natural tooth is removed to reach the cavity, the filling is only on the tooth's chewing surface. 

Cavities further down between teeth are more tricky to fix. The dentist may come in from the side of the tooth to reach the decay so that more of the natural tooth is preserved. Bands will be placed around the tooth to help contain the filling material as it is placed in the tooth, which prevents it from spilling over as it cures.