Tooth Decay: what does a cavity look like?

August 16, 2011 by shonna  
Filed under Before & After Photos, Cosmetic

Your dentist just said, “You have a small cavity on your tooth.”

Most patients, after swearing a bit, wonder what that looks like. Below is a short primer on what a cavity or tooth decay looks like when its small.



what does tooth decay look like?

The red arrows point to two different types of tooth decay.



The arrows above are pointing toward different types of decay on this tooth. The color of the tooth around the silver filling is different from side to side. Normal tooth color is below the filling. Above the filing decay is eating away at the tooth.

The lower arrow points to a color change coming from UNDER the enamel. The distinction is: its not stain just sitting on top of the tooth.



tooth decay

The arrows point to decay inside the preparation.



The arrows are pointing to the areas where tooth decay is eating away the tooth structure. Most of the decay has been removed from the 12 0′clock area in the upper preparation.



Decay has been removed from both preparations.

Decay has been removed from both preparations.




Both fillings are larger than photo #2 to allow removal of the decayed area of tooth. Notice the color change. This is the color of healthy dentin.



The filling has been placed.




The final restoration is in place. Notice the color change in the tooth from simply removing the dark infected dentin and ugly silver filling. This restoration, because its relatively small when compared to the tooth, will last a long time.


Doug Larson, DDS
42 West Campbell Avenue
Campbell, CA 95008
408.374.6160

About the author

Doug Larson, DDS leads the team at The Smile Specialists in Campbell, California, located half way between Los Gatos, California and San Jose, California. The dental practice is a progressive cosmetic, restorative and preventative family dental practice. We provide our patients with the most comprehensive dentistry available in a comfortable state-of-the art facility, the planet can be proud of. Our services are designed to maintain the health of our patients’ teeth, improve their overall oral wellness and provide beautiful smiles. Our team works to empower patients with the knowledge necessary to make educated choices about their dental treatment options. We also understand that for many, a trip to the dentist can be a source of anxiety. We want to help you reduce that anxiety. Call and allow us to help.
Dentistry has transformed in recent years. We’ll give you an experience that will change your mind about going to the dentist and even make you feel good about coming back.
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