Hole in Your Molar: Treatment and Prevention

If you feel pain in the back of your mouth, you may have a hole in your molar. Molars are the large, flat teeth in the back of your mouth that help you grind and chew food. So if your molars get infected or start to decay, they should be treated right away.

What happens when you find a hole in molars? Can they be treated? Do the molars have to be removed? Keep reading to learn about:

  • The several causes of tooth decay
  • Treatment options for holes in molars
  • Why it’s important to maintain strong oral health care
  • How to prevent tooth decay from occurring or recurring

To treat a hole in your molar, visit a Kool Smiles office near you. With over 120 offices spread across the country, you can get the high-quality care you need at a price you can afford. Don’t have insurance? Have Medicaid? No problem. We accept Medicaid as well as multiple forms of payment. We believe all families deserve access to quality dental care.

Call 254-781-0553 to learn more or to schedule an appointment to treat your molar.

Tooth Decay: Early Detection and Education

There’s an oral health crisis in the United States. Twenty-six percent of adults ages 20 to 64 have untreated tooth decay. It’s hard to know if you have decay, if you don’t visit the dentist. Many Americans skip their appointments or delay seeing the dentist, and this, of course, can lead to more decay.

The best defense against gum disease and tooth decay is education. Here are some facts about tooth decay that leads to holes in teeth, including molars:

What is tooth decay? It’s the destruction of tooth enamel, which is the outer layer of the tooth. Left untreated, it forms a hole in the tooth.

How is it caused? By a buildup of plaque that produces acids that destroy the tooth enamel.

What is plaque? Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the outside of the tooth from foods and drinks.

There are several reasons why tooth decay occurs and why it forms a hole in the tooth, including:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Sugary food and drink consumption
  • Acidic and carbonated food and drink consumption
  • Poor nutrition
  • Grinding teeth
  • Age
  • Lack of routine teeth exams and cleanings
Close up of an african father watching his son brush his teeth in the bathroom.

How Can You Prevent Tooth Decay?

Maintaining healthy oral hygiene habits is the first step towards preventing tooth decay and other oral diseases or infections from starting and spreading.

You should be brushing your child’s teeth and yours twice per day and flossing every day. Unfortunately, in a Delta Dental survey, only four in 10 Americans said they floss every day. If you’re somebody who doesn’t floss, consider keeping floss by your toothbrush in the bathroom or on your bedside table to remind you to do it. Mouthwash with fluoride can also help prevent tooth decay.

As adults, it’s also important to schedule regular visits with your dentist about twice a year, ideally every six months, to track your oral health, get an in-depth cleaning and work on preventative dental care.

Eating a healthy diet can also help you prevent decay. Certain drinks and foods to avoid include:

  • Carbonated drinks
  • Drinks with citric acids
  • Sweets
  • Carbohydrates
  • Potato chips
  • Sticky or hard candies
  • Alcohol

What drinks and foods are good for your teeth? Any foods with fluoride, like seafood, as well as sugarless chewing gum, tea, fiber-rich fruits and veggies and dairy products.

Forming lifelong brushing and flossing habits can help prevent cavities. If you suspect your molar has a hole, your dentist can take X-rays and provide cleaning services to find out for sure. They will then discuss follow-up options and the best treatments.

Molar Treatment Options

Cavities can lead to infection or a tooth abscess if left untreated. The infection can actually lead to tooth loss or spread to other teeth or other parts of the body. If your dentist determines you have a cavity, there are several measures to treat molar cavities:

  • Fillings—Fillings fill holes with various materials such as silver, gold, porcelain or resin. This prevents bacteria from continuing to grow and destroying the tooth.
  • Crowns—These fit over a tooth like a cap, replacing a damaged area. Crowns are usually made from porcelain, gold or metal.
  • Root Canals—Root canals are needed in cases of severe decay, if the root has been infected. The tooth, decayed area and pulp is completely removed, then the area is cleaned, filled and covered with a crown.

Your dentist will likely take X-rays to see what the best follow-up treatment is and discuss these options with you. If your tooth can no longer be saved, you may need a root canal. Dr. Don Atkins, a dentist in Long Beach, CA, says, “A root canal treatment is done to clean out this infection from inside the tooth so surrounding tissues can heal.”

How Much Does a Root Canal Cost?

Unfortunately, root canals can be expensive. Getting a root canal on a molar, for instance, costs over $1,000 on average. Not sure you can afford this? Kool Smiles makes it easy for you to get the dental care kids need by offering various forms of payment options. You don’t want your child to lose a tooth because you think you can’t afford to take care of it.

Root canals, in general, cost anywhere from $300 to $2,500. After the root canal is performed, the dentist will have to put on a crown or a filling, which is an additional cost. Dental crowns can cost anywhere from $500 to $3,000 per tooth, depending on the material used. So tooth decay, if not treated, can be really expensive.

Types of Crowns

Dental crowns aren’t just used on adults. If a child suffers from severe tooth decay, they may need a filling, a root canal or a crown. If you or your child needs a dental crown, you’ll want to make sure you get the best type at a price you can afford. Here are the different options:

  • Ceramic and porcelain crowns—These are the most natural looking and blend in best with the tooth. They are also very fracture-resistant.
  • Porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crowns—These are very durable and often used over dental implants. These may not be as durable as metal crowns, but they blend in better with the other teeth.
  • Resin crowns—Often, these crowns are used for a temporary fix on dental bridges. They don’t last as long as other dental crowns but are more affordable.
  • Metal crowns—These include basic-metal crowns, which tend to be long-lasting. A mix of gold, copper and other metals can be used as well. These don’t wear away the tooth. However, they can be very noticeable so are often only used on molars.
  • Stainless steel crowns—These prefabricated crowns are used as a temporary solution that provide full-tooth coverage while a permanent crown is being made. These are typically used on children’s teeth, if required.

Know that after a while, you may need to replace the dental crown. Generally, they last between five and 15 years, but it depends on the type. Some may last longer.

Dental Crowns and Medicaid

Deciding on which crown is best may depend on your financial circumstances. If your child needs a dental crown, it should be covered by Medicaid, but since a dental crown isn’t considered an emergency procedure, adults may not be covered. However, some states will offer pay assistance for a crown, which is considered “restorative care” for adults. Check the Medicaid coverage in your state to learn more.

What Does a Cavity Feel Like?

A study found that by the time Americans reach the age of 65, approximately 96% have tooth decay. Cavities are, unfortunately, all too common, but how do you know when you have one?

You may not know until you visit your dentist for a routine checkup, but sometimes, you can feel them.

Here are symptoms of tooth decay:

  • A toothache that feels like a subtle ache
  • Tooth sensitivity when eating hot or cold foods
  • Feeling a hole or pit in a tooth
  • Pain when biting or chewing
  • Pus around a tooth

Feel like you might have tooth decay? Visit a Kool Smiles dentist and get your teeth checked out.

Payment Options at Kool Smiles

If you have a hole in a molar, you’ll likely need a dental treatment or procedure to correct this problem. Regardless of your financial circumstances, Kool Smiles believes all families deserve quality dental care, which is why we offer many payment options. Our dentists take the following forms of payment:

  • Most general insurances
  • Most dental insurances including Delta Dental
  • Military and state insurance plans such as TRICARE and SCHIP
  • Medicaid
  • Cash
  • Credit card or debit card
  • CareCredit

To learn more about our payment plans or to get an estimate on costs for fillings, root canals or other procedures, call our customer service representatives at 254-781-0553. We’re standing by on weekdays and weekends.

Kool Smiles Dentistry: Quality Care for All Ages

From your molars to your entire mouth, get quality and affordable care with Kool Smiles. For parents nervous about taking their kids in to get cleanings or fill molar holes, our dentists and pediatric specialists invite you to watch procedures as they happen. You and your family’s comfort is our top priority.

Our dentists will also explain the procedure in advance and keep you informed about before and after treatment. If you have any questions regarding tooth decay, fillings, dental procedures, or follow-up treatment, our dentists will be more than willing to guide you through the topics.

At Kool Smiles, we are dedicated to fighting tooth decay and the oral health crisis. Don’t ignore a hole in a molar. Find quality care and prevention education services at more than 120 family-friendly Kool Smiles locations nationwide.

Contact Kool Smiles today by calling us at 254-781-0553 and schedule an appointment.



American Dental Association: mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/d/decay

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research: nidcr.nih.gov/research/data-statistics/dental-caries/adults

Colgate: colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/basics/brushing-and-flossing/ada-10-survey-finds-shortcomings-in-americans-dental-health-habits

University of Rochester Medical Center: urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=1&ContentID=4062

WebMD: webmd.com/oral-health/guide/abscessed-tooth#1

NerdWallet: nerdwallet.com/blog/health/how-much-does-a-root-canal-cost/

Authority Dental: authoritydental.org/crown-costs

Dental Associates of New England: bostonsmile.com/blog/2013/11/04/how-long-do-porcelain-crowns-135914

Today: today.com/health/most-us-have-tooth-decay-study-finds-t20781

Orajel: orajel.com/en/Resource-Center/Teething-Relief/Teething-Chart-See-When-Your-Babys-Teeth-Will-Come-In

CareCredit: carecredit.com/dentistry/