Dentists joke that if you were to show ten dentists the same tooth, you’d get ten different answers on the best way to treat it. When most people hear that they have a cavity, they think it is one of these black and white things, where you either have a cavity or you don’t. The truth of the matter is that cavities are a process. What one dentist may consider a cavity that needs to be filled, another dentist may consider it to be a cavity that just needs to monitored for the time being. Dental treatment recommendations are a highly gray area because there are so many factors that go into the process. These factors include…
- The size of the cavity
- What tooth
- What shape the tooth is in
- Age of the patient
- Teeth around it
- Risk factors for getting additional decay
- Dry mouth
- The dentist’s treatment philosophy
- Other health conditions
The dentist tries to take all of these things under consideration and make the best treatment recommendations that they can. As you can imagine, with this many things involved, dentists are going to have differences of opinion.
Next time you see one dentist and then another who recommends something else, please remember why this happens. It’s not necessarily because one dentist or the other is dishonest. They just have a difference of opinion. Have the dentists explain their reasoning and choose what you think sounds right. In many cases, either treatment option can be successful as long as it is done well.