When you go for a dental exam, your dentist checks your fillings and may suggest that you replace any loose or broken ones. Your dentist also looks for signs of decay, such as brown or black spots and may want to use X-rays to take a closer look at problem spots.
If you have a cavity, your dentist may keep an eye on it (if it’s small) or fill it right away. If a large cavity is not filled, it can get bigger and cause pain. The tooth may even need root canal treatment or to be removed and replaced with a false (or artificial) tooth.