More often than you’d expect, we have patients who wonder whether having a cavity treated is really necessary. They’ll come in for their biannual exam, we’ll show them their x-ray and point out their cavity, and they’ll sort of shrug and tell us that the tooth isn’t bothering them, so they don’t think they’ll proceed with treatment. We’ll be honest, while we sort of understand where patients are coming from with this one, it mostly just leaves us confused.
To our dental team, finding a cavity that isn’t bothering a patient yet is magical. It’s like getting to see into the future and being able to prevent bad things from happening. We get to tell our patients, “Hey! We found something that will inevitably cause you pain, could cause an awful infection, and may cost you your tooth. But, it’s not doing any of those things yet, so if you follow our treatment plan, you get to avoid all of those terrible things!” At least from where we’re standing, treating a cavity before it hurts is the best case scenario after not having a cavity at all!
Reasons to Wait.
That said, sometimes there are legitimately good reasons to put off treatment. Perhaps we discovered your cavity in late November, and you’d already used up your dental benefits for the year. Waiting until now to book an appointment would make sense in that context. If you’re struggling to fit a dental treatment into your budget, it pays to talk with your dentist. We’ll be able to tell you whether or not waiting is really an option. Sometimes, treatments need to be taken care of right away in order to save a tooth. Other time, there’s some wiggle room. Discussing your unique situation with your dentist is a good way to figure out which case you have.
When it comes to your health, it’s a good idea to be proactive. Cavities and dental complications in general have a bad habit of getting worse the longer you wait. If your tooth doesn’t hurt, but your dentist is showing you a cavity in your x-ray and suggesting a filling or root canal, we suggest considering yourself lucky! You’ve been given the opportunity to have it treated before dealing with a toothache.
Is your dentist recommending a treatment you don’t think you need? It’s never a bad idea to get a second opinion. But putting off treatment just because your tooth doesn’t hurt isn’t a great plan. Contact the experts at Metro Dental today to learn more about fillings, root canals, and taking care of your teeth.