How Do Dentists Diagnose Cavities?

West Columbia SC Family DentistryEver wonder why it is you seem to need a dental filling when a tooth doesn’t even hurt?

Lots of folks in West Columbia ask us that every day. It doesn’t make sense to treat a problem you can’t feel! …Right?

Actually, it’s our dentist’s goal to find problems with your teeth before you ever know they’re there. This spares you unnecessary pain and effectively treats the problem before it can get any bigger.

You’d probably agree that it’s easier to sit through a simple filling than it is to endure a lengthy root canal!

So how do dentists “find” these mysterious and invisible spots of decay, anyway?

The world of dentistry depends on a few major methods.


This is when your dentist runs that pointy tickly dental instrument over the tops of your teeth. That fine-tipped explorer quickly catches in pits of soft enamel which indicate the start of decay.


Without these, a dentist may as well treat your teeth blindfolded. X-rays let dental professionals see weak spots in the tooth that can’t be seen in the mouth. Cavities that start between teeth are usually discovered this way.


Small low-energy lasers can scan some tooth surfaces to determine the presence of a cavity.


A dye is sometimes used by a dentist to check that a cavity is completely gone before filling a tooth that was just drilled. This way, it won’t quickly grow back underneath the restoration.

All of these techniques help dentists provide the best possible care for your smile.

Find out more about preventing cavities and how we detect them here at Carolina Smiles Family Dentistry. Call our team today to schedule your appointment.

Posted on Behalf of Carolina Smiles Family Dentistry

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