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Can A Tooth Cavity Be Hidden?

Healthy appearing molar – no symptioms.

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.

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.

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.

Obvious decay in the grooves of this tooth!

Decay restored with a conservative tooth colored filling.

Yours for better dental health,

Julie Gillis DDS, AAACD

Restoring Teeth, Restoring Smiles