4750 Yonge St Unit #330, Toronto, ON M2N 0J6
Patients often ask how can there be a problem or a cavity if I have not experienced any pain? This is a great question, but it is important to note that not all dental problems can present with pain, at least initially anyways! 
 
It is quite common for a small cavity, chipped or cracked tooth, or minor dental trauma to be initially painless. Lack of pain however, is not an indication of a lack of problems! In such cases, if the necessary treatment(s) are provided early enough, the problem can be reversed or eliminated, thus avoiding the need for major invasive dental treatments later on. 
 
On the other extreme, a lack of pain may actually indicate such extensive nerve damage to the roots of the tooth, resulting in tissue death (and thus no transmission of pain signal to our brain). In these cases, even though the individual may not experience pain, the root canal has already been infected, the nerves have been severely damaged or died, thus requiring root canal therapy. 
 
So, to avoid such negative outcomes, it is critical to have regular dental exams. Routine dental examinations and cleaning by your dentist allows for early detection of any pending issues, before serious damage can occur. Delaying or limiting dental examinations to only periods of pain or discomfort can not only lead to more severe dental disease and worse pain, but also the increased financial burden of more extensive procedures. Delayed treatment can lead to worse overall outcomes as well.
 
While sometimes routine dental exams may feel redundant, having routine dental visits at least twice per year can go a long way in preserving optimal oral health and early detection of any issues. So, keep seeing your dentist regularly, even if you’re feeling “OK”, it may be the best decision your “happy teeth” will make this year! 