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Dental X-Ray Shows Cavity, No Pain, Fix?
Old 06-27-2007, 03:07 PM   #1
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Dental X-Ray Shows Cavity, No Pain, Fix?

The full set of dental X-rays showed some decay that the dentist says I should fix. This violates my new "wait for pain before fixing" philosophy. I have had no pain or discomfort with any of my teeth. The visual exam didn't show anything.

I've generally followed the dentist's recommendation in the past. However, note that seven years ago this dentist recommended that I fix a crack that he found seven years ago. I didn't fix it, and have had no problems.

What do you think?
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Old 06-27-2007, 03:22 PM   #2
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The full set of dental X-rays showed some decay that the dentist says I should fix. This violates my new "wait for pain before fixing" philosophy. I have had no pain or discomfort with any of my teeth. The visual exam didn't show anything.
I've generally followed the dentist's recommendation in the past. However, note that seven years ago this dentist recommended that I fix a crack that he found seven years ago. I didn't fix it, and have had no problems.
What do you think?
I think you need a new dentist!

X-rays can catch the decay way before it hits the tooth's pulp or nerve, and by the time a cavity gets that far you may be talking crown or root canal. So it's better to act before the pain than after. Of course you may be able to inspire a dentist to help you find the pain with one of their probes?

I've been told that an early-stage cavity can occasionally re-mineralize with frequent flossing (to get the plaque off) and a fluoride rinse like "Act". My dentist noted a shadow on one of my X-rays and made that recommendation. I zealously followed the advice and when I went back (two years later) the shadow was gone. I'll let you know in a year whether it comes back...

I also get a lot of complaining about my 30-year-old fillings, especially the threat that the tooth will crack or the amalgam filling will fall out and poison me if the pain doesn't kill me first. So perhaps all dentists are like yours.
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Old 06-27-2007, 03:22 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
seven years ago this dentist recommended that I fix a crack that he found seven years ago. I didn't fix it, and have had no problems.
what is that saying? something about making future projections based on past performance?
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Old 06-27-2007, 04:32 PM   #4
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According to my dad who taught at tufts until a few years ago, you definitely dont want to wait to fill a cavity until you're in pain

Small fillings are a whole lot better than big ones.

And yeah, consider another dentist. If you had an actual crack in a tooth you wouldnt have gotten away it for 7 years...
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Old 06-27-2007, 07:25 PM   #5
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Funny, I went to the dentist today and had a small cavity. It will be filled in August before it gets big and damages the tooth.
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Old 06-27-2007, 07:32 PM   #6
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Well I'm not licensed to practice dentistry in your state, or any other state, but it has always been my philosophy to get any possible dental problems taken care of ASAP. I seem to know that if I have a cavity, for example, that it will not get better on it's own and will probably get worse.

As much as I hate a visit to the DDS, I hate a long visit to the DDS a few years later even more. Also, it seems cost effective to take care of PM like I do with the house and cars.
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Old 06-27-2007, 08:01 PM   #7
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A dentist told me I had a crack that I could probably safely ignore for awhile. Not a good idea! He didn't figure on me eating roasted almonds. The inner surface sheared off and I was stuck with an emergency visit to get a temporary, then a crown. I would have needed the crown anyway, but I prefer not to discover hunks of tooth in my mouth.

As to caries, if you trust your dentist get them done. Like the others say you can get in some real trouble letting this infection go. Ever notice that people with some money or dental insurance look better as they age?

It's because they still have teeth.

Ha
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Old 06-27-2007, 08:56 PM   #8
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As to caries, if you trust your dentist get them done. Like the others say you can get in some real trouble letting this infection go. Ever notice that people with some money or dental insurance look better as they age?

It's because they still have teeth.

Ha
Tony Hillerman noted in one of his Chee/Leaphorn novels that one of the few remaining class indicators was the quality/straightness of a person's teeth.
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Old 06-27-2007, 09:02 PM   #9
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This isn't a paint chip on your car's fender. I would guess that dentistry would be a good area to LAYM and get that thing fixed.

I'm going to guess by your question that you have never had an abcess or root canal?
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Old 06-27-2007, 09:17 PM   #10
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Al, hernias and cavities need to be fixed even if they don't hurt. Or they will hurt later. Time to modify your philosophy just a bit.
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Old 06-27-2007, 09:50 PM   #11
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Al, hernias and cavities need to be fixed even if they don't hurt. Or they will hurt later. Time to modify your philosophy just a bit.
my thoughts exactly. Go get yer choppers fixed ya cheapskate!!
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Old 06-27-2007, 11:34 PM   #12
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OK, OK, I'll do it. Thanks for the advice.
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Old 06-28-2007, 04:55 PM   #13
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i say let it ride. why spend the few hundred bucks? just wait, endure the pain as long as possible, then pay a few thousand when you cant bear it any more! thats what i do....but at least i earned 5% on my saved hundreds while the deay set in


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Old 06-29-2007, 12:50 AM   #14
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Anyone decide to get every tooth yanked during the retirement process and just wear fake teeth when you need them?

My teeth drive me nuts, I really neglected them during my time in the Marines being deployed and stuff, only brushing once a day sometimes, so I am having lots of problems now, thankfully just back teeth and not my front ones, but I have already had 3 molars pulled, and a wisdom tooth.

Really sucks we do not get a new set of teeth when we are 30-40, or be like sharks and just replace bad ones all the time.

Just seems like it would be much easier to have "perfect" fake teeth, that you drop in cleaner at night, then all the health problems associated with teeth. Which reminds me, I just got 2 pulled a few weeks ago, and stopped getting massive sinus headaches before every rain, and then you hear about people who have heart problems because of their bad teeth.
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Old 06-29-2007, 09:21 AM   #15
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False teeth present a whole new set of challenges. I've been putting my $ on visits to the hygenist every 4 months - for a while every 3, at least partially because of the heart attack/gum disease link. It's a rear guard battle, but the size of my gum pockets is greatly reduced, bleeding gums are a thing of the past, and tooth cleaning doesn't have to feel like a visit to Dr. Mengele. (alternatively, Marathon Man: "is it safe?"). I also recommend a health store product - Beta Glucan - if you do end up with infection in your mouth. Seemed to work, better than times in my checkered past when i used to smuggle drugs across the Mexican border, specifically, Amoxicillin, which you really shouldn't overuse and build a resistance too.*
*I'm no dentist or health care pro - i didn't even stay in a motel last night.
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Old 06-29-2007, 09:27 AM   #16
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Theres a lot of new technology coming around for tooth replacement and even a process for stimulating the jaw and growing a whole new tooth. I posted an article to it some time ago, requires some stuff hooked up inside your mouth for a couple of weeks to make it happen.

Not as cool as sharks teeth, but if we had that i'd also want a frickin laser beam on my head.
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Old 06-29-2007, 09:57 AM   #17
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I wish my old dentist would have stayed. The one that gave me laughing gas and stereo headphones at the drop of a hat....(sigh). I asked her for black light posters, but that never happened. I had them trained. What a loss!!

Dentists that will use gas seem few and far between. I'm too old to suck the propellant gas out of whipped cream cans any more.....
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Old 06-29-2007, 10:36 AM   #18
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.... I'm too old to suck the propellant gas out of whipped cream cans any more.....
Oh come on - no you're not!
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Old 06-29-2007, 11:47 AM   #19
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From a cost-savings perspective - a little ol' filling ain't gonna hurt your pocket book as much as a friggin root canal or crown!

and waitin' till it hurts is surely asking for more trouble!

i've spent way too much money salvaging my mouth full of craters and i know it will always plague me, my sister is no more vigilant at cleaning than i am and may have had 2 cavities in her life.

and as far as i'm concerned, dental technology is advancing at a snail's pace - you can get all kinds or other problems from root canals or implants...
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Old 06-29-2007, 11:48 AM   #20
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Theres a lot of new technology coming around for tooth replacement and even a process for stimulating the jaw and growing a whole new tooth. I posted an article to it some time ago, requires some stuff hooked up inside your mouth for a couple of weeks to make it happen.

Not as cool as sharks teeth, but if we had that i'd also want a frickin laser beam on my head.
O wow that does sound neat, although with my luck they would come in crooked and I would need braces, and being the cheap bastard that I am, I would just get it pulled
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