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Slim1984 01-15-2013 05:38 PM

I'm nearing 30 and am now being told that I may have my first cavity. It's in a wisdom tooth.

It looks like a black spot to me and I saw it in my mouth for over a year. Dentist claims it's not a spot, but rather a hole (cavity)

Question is, is it worth filling on a wisdom tooth? Can cavities heal on their own? If it is a cavity that has been present over a year, shouldn't I feel pain?

WhoU80 01-15-2013 05:59 PM

Re: Cavity
I would trust your dentist - after all, if it's a black spot, what would it be? If it's not a hole, what would cause a black spot stain that can't be removed?

To the best of my knowledge, a cavity cannot heal on its own. This isn't like a broken bone, but rather, bone that's simply gone (eroded by acid from bacteria). One can have a cavity for a while without any major issues. This is why there doesn't appear to be change. And you probably aren't feeling pain as the cavity is not large enough to expose your nerves - or even your dentin - to air. But if the cavity does grow, and you don't do anything, you may ultimately need a root canal or extraction.

If your wisdom teeth came in nicely and you want to keep all your teeth, I recommend a filling. These days, it can be done in one appointment. Get the white filling material (as opposed to an amalgam) and you probably won't even notice that it's there. Plus, insurance - if you have it - covers 80-90% (depending on your coverage) of the filling.

Slim1984 01-15-2013 06:10 PM

Re: Cavity
Thanks for the advice. I do not have insurance. They offered me about $100 for it.

If they are removing the erosion, are they removing part of the good tooth with it? How does a filling work? Just remove and refill?

Kimmi7 01-16-2013 05:49 AM

Re: Cavity
Hi Hannah... I don't know what the situation is with your wisdom teeth. You may want to discuss this with your dentist and look at your xrays. Are your wisdom teeth erupted and straight like any other tooth? If not you may want to consider their removal. It's not always necessary... you could just try to have it filled ect.... However, I'm 45 and I have to have my bottom wisdoms out tomorrow. I'm terrified of possible nerve damage. I guess what I'm saying is this. Don't wait until you are my age to have to take your wisdom teeth out because there is a bit higher risk for complications. If you have them out while you are young the recovery will also be easier. Its just something to think about and discuss with your dentist. Good luck to you.

Slim1984 01-16-2013 08:41 AM

Re: Cavity
They came in straight, never had any pain or trouble with them. No one ever suggested removing them. I didn't even feel them come in or know they were wisdom teeth to be honest until a dentist said to me "Look at that, you have wisdom teeth." Haha.

Kimmi7 01-16-2013 08:45 AM

Re: Cavity
That's good... then you probably would not have to have them out unless they got in bad condition.

rosequartz 01-16-2013 08:45 AM

Re: Cavity
you must have darn good teeth to get your first cavity at this age!
get it filled, it's easy and painless! the dentist will numb you with novacaine first and you won't feel a thing. It won't heal on it's own and it you let it go it will get worse. It can go deeper to the bone and then you have real issues......get it fixed now while it's not a big deal!

WhoU80 01-16-2013 10:15 AM

Re: Cavity
I just had a filling - the cavity was a mere shadow on the X-ray. I waited a few years to have it fixed. Despite waiting, the dentist drilled for maybe 10 seconds - if that. It was a small cavity. So it can be a fairly straight forward process.

The process starts with your dentist (or assistant) covering the rest of your mouth with almost a thin rubber wrap that only exposes the tooth of interest. This is done to prevent any drilled shavings from going into your mouth. You will be numbed prior to this with a series of shots. That may actually be the most painful part of this process - so do be a bit prepared for that. The dentist will drill all of the decayed material. This includes weakened tooth structure. Your dentist will not drill good tooth structure as that is needed to hold the filling. He/she will then build back up that structure with filling material. Once they filling is set, you are done. It takes a few more hours for the numbing medicine to wear off - so you may have difficulty eating, drinking or talking for a bit. But afterwards, you shouldn't notice a thing.

For that price, make sure that your dentist is using white filling material, not the metal amalgam that is silver in color. That will stand out in your otherwise cavity-free mouth That white filling may cost a bit more, but it's worth it (I have that - I only notice the material if i look closely).

If you are uncomfortable with your dentist for any reason, talk to him/her or see another office. Good luck!

Slim1984 01-17-2013 02:38 AM

Re: Cavity
After the advice here, I talked again to the dentist.

He said it's so small that it doesn't need immediate attention if I want to think about it.

So I guess that's what I'll do. I'll think about it until I do in for my next cleaning/xray. I never went twice a year as recommended, but rather once every few years. However, he said I'd get a discounted visit rate if I come back again before December. We can monitor them, and depending on how they are on my next visit, we can decide what to do

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