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Dennis Simonsen DMD - Simonsen Dental September 2014 Newsletter Forward to a Friend   Submit Question
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What if I don't get my Cavity Repaired?
Cavities, as you know, are caused by bacteria over a relatively short period of time. If you do not have your cavities repaired when they are detected, they will worsen over time. Since cavities are one of the world's most common health problems, what happens if you don't have it repaired?

First Opportunity

Cavities usually occur because your teeth aren't being cared for properly, not enough brushing and flossing, too much sugar, and skipping visits to the dentist. As you get your teeth examined by the dentist, they may find a cavity or cavities. If the decay is only in the enamel, this is the time to stop it and depending on the size of the cavity, you may be able to repair the enamel by taking fluoride.

The Decay is Flourishing

Cavities that have spread into the dentin are pretty common. You are probably noticing that your teeth are sensitive to hot, cold, and sweets. Once the cavity has reached the dentin, it will increase in size and because it is now closer to the nerve, will most likely require anesthetic to remove the decay and fill with the desired filling material. If the decay is extensive, a filling may not suffice and it may require a crown or another type of restoration to add strength after the decay is removed.

Critical Level Reached

If your cavity has remained untreated until the decay reaches the pulp (nerves and blood vessels are here), you are probably in pain, swelling and even infection. You must take action to prevent the spread of the infection. The dentist will perform a root canal if any portion of your tooth can be saved and if not the dentist will remove your tooth (extraction). You will then need to be fitted with an implant or bridge to fill in the space and keep the remaining teeth healthy.

Does Whitening Toothpaste Work?
In general, toothpastes use mild abrasives to remove stains on the surface of your teeth. In addition, whitening toothpaste contain chemical polishing agents that allow them to remove even more surface stains; so yes, they do work! Keep in mind though that they only remove stains on the surface of teeth, not deep inside the tooth. Whitening toothpastes can actually lighten your tooth color; but only by one shade because they generally do not contain a bleaching agent. At home whitening kits can help; they utilize hydrogen peroxide to remove both surface stains and stains deeper in the teeth. Remember, whitening toothpastes and store bought kits cannot produce the results you'll get from having whitening procedures in your dentist's office. Also, since everyone's teeth are different, everyone will have a different result with whitening.

Overcoming Fear of the Dentist
Although statistics vary, the numbers say that up to 50% of patients experience fear or anxiety at the thought of going to the dentist. So, if you experience anxiety you are not alone. Be sure to communicate to the staff and the dentist your fears. We will do everything we can to make you feel comfortable and relaxed. Make your appointment early in the morning, it'll give you less time to think about it. Take a friend with you to your visit, if this will help calm you. Let the office and dentist know that you'd like to have a signal to let them know if you need to take a break during your exam. Don't hesitate to use the signal if you begin to feel anxious or uncomfortable. The dentist won't mind and you'll build your confidence as you overcome your fears!


Dennis Simonsen DMD - Simonsen Dental | | 503-646-3169
14125 SW Farmington Rd, Beaverton, OR 97005



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