Dentistry/Cavity?

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Question
I found a small hole in my tooth, a mm deep at most? There is no pain, swelling, sensitivity or unusual colouring. I've never had anything wrong with my teeth before, is this a cavity? And if it is, judging from what I've told you about it, how serious do you think it is?
If it is a cavity, since there is no unusual colour, will it definitely require drilling?

Answer
Yes, it's probably a cavity, but there's absolutely no way to know without a proper dental examination and possibly an x-ray as well. An early cavity often has no pain, swelling, sensitivity or unusual colouring. If it is a cavity and nothing is done about it, sooner or later you will experience pain, infection and a larger cavity as the decay progresses further into the tooth.  An early cavity can often be cleaned and filled, sometimes with a minimum of "drilling".
This is no time for denial.  Get it checked out while it's still a small problem.  If it turns out to be nothing then you've risked nothing.  Otherwise you are heading for bigger problems because a small cavity will not go away by itself.

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Dr. Randolph Myerson

Expertise

Please limit your inquiry to questions about orthodontics (braces) and children's dentistry. I am both an Orthodontist and a Pediatric Dentist, having been trained in both of these dental specialty fields. Orthodontics is the dental specialty that treats problems of tooth, bite and jaw alignment using braces and removable appliances. Pediatric Dentistry is the dental specialty also known as dentistry for children, which deals specifically with the dental problems of this special age group from infants to adolescents. I am also experienced in Forensic Dentistry, the application of dentistry to law enforcement and identification using dental records.

Experience

I have been in the private practice of orthodontics and pediatric dentistry for over 20 years. Prior to that I served for three years on the Cleft Palate and Cranio-facial Reconstruction team at Children''s Hospital of Philadelphia and was an Assistant Professor of Dentistry at University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. I also served as a dentist in the U.S.Air Force, stationed at Andrews AFB in Washington, DC.

Organizations
I am a Fellow in the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and a member of the American Association of Orthodontics, as well as a member of the American Dental Association and the Dental Society of the State of New York.

Education/Credentials
I received my BA in Biology from Frankin & Marshall College in 1969, and my dental degree from University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine in 1973. In 1978 I received both my Certificate in Orthodontics from University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, and my Certificate in Pediatric Dentistry from Children''s Hospital of Philadelphia after completing a three year Teaching Fellowship in Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry in 1978.

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