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Can A Tooth Cavity Be Hidden?

September 26, 2014

Filed under: Cavities and Dental Decay — Tags: — Dr Gillis @ 4:18 am

Can A Tooth Cavity Be Hidden?

Healthy appearing molar - no symptioms.

Healthy appearing molar – no symptoms.

Without taking the time to really look at this tooth under different light conditions, and evaluating the grooves with a cavity detecting laser, this cavity or area of decay might be missed! The x-ray image was non-remarkable (no cavity or area of decay visible).  The surface of the tooth was very hard when felt with an explorer.  (Many of us have experienced a dentist or dental hygienist ‘poking’ at a tooth to see if their explorer ‘sticks’ as it often will in an area of decay otherwise known as a cavity!)  Our office noted the gray discoloration and tested the tooth with a cavity detecting laser.

See areas of concern. The cavity detecting laser will assist in determining if there is decay below the enamel of a tooth.

See areas of concern. The cavity detecting laser will assist in determining if there is decay below the enamel of a tooth.

Some cavities or areas of decay are easy to see and feel, while some are not!  If you are concerned about any of your teeth or gums please ask your dentist!  We are always happy to explain what is going on with your mouth and teeth. The enamel over the gray area on the tooth is carefully removed with a high speed handpiece and severe decay (seen in the photo as the large darkly stained area) was found below.  A conservative tooth colored restoration was placed to restore the health and color of this tooth.  Left untreated, the decay could easily have progressed into the nerve of the tooth!

Gross decay below enamel was causing the gray discoloration seen in the previous photos.

Gross decay below enamel was causing the gray discoloration seen in the previous photos.

As always, yours for better dental health,

Julie Gillis, DDS

Restoring Smiles/Restoring Health!

 

Please check our our office’s website, go to www.juliegillisdds.com for more information on tooth decay, dental procedures and our team in Grand Junction, Colorado.  Our phone number is (970) 242-3635.

Photo shows the left side of the mouth in the patient with the gray area on the tooth above.

Photo shows the left side of the mouth in the patient with the gray area on the tooth above. Note healthy looking teeth and gums.  Excellent oral hygiene.

Obvious decay in the grooves of this tooth!

Obvious decay in the grooves of this tooth!

Decay restored with a conservative tooth colored filling.

Decay restored with a conservative tooth colored filling.

 

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1190 Bookcliff Ave. Suite 201, Grand Junction, CO 81501 USA
Julie M Gillis DDS Grand Junction, CO cosmetic, general, & restorative dentist. (970) 242-3635 (970) 242-8479 jgillis@juliegillisdds.com