So what happens to cavities if you just leave them there? Well, cavities in their early stages cannot be felt by the person, but they can be spotted visually by the dentist. It’s a fairly uncomplicated fix at this point — a filling and regular cleanings to prevent further damage. But if the cavity has worn its way through to the dentin, the tooth is noticeably sensitive to heat, cold, or touch. At this point, a barrier must be laid over the damaged dentin, and then filling material to cover and seal the opening. If a cavity is yet still left untreated, the tooth’s nerve and pulp become infected and immense pain is experienced. A full root canal is required to clean out and seal off the tooth, along with reconstruction and reinforcement to rebuild the tooth’s strength, and a crown to replace the tooth loss.
Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles