Most of the time, no! One of the most common misconceptions is that cavities are painful. A tooth is made up of three layers – a thin enamel layer, a thick dentin layer, and then the canal space.
When Dr. Spencer is evaluating x-rays, he’s looking to see any shadows that penetrate through the tooth's outer enamel layer.
If so, then this cavity needs to be treated with a tooth-colored filling. These types of cavities are rarely or ever noticeable to the patient but are important to treat before they grow and become a bigger problem.
If a cavity is left untreated for a long time, it will eventually work its way through the tooth's dentin layer and enter the canal space. This is where the tooth's nerve is, and this is where cavities can really start to hurt!
Routine dental exams are important because Dr. Spencer can identify and treat cavities while they are small before they cause any pain.