Stages of Tooth Decay

There are few things more dreaded than tooth decay. When a tooth goes bad, it often spells a trip to the dentist, not to mention a whole lot of pain, a big bill, and a permanent blight to your physical appearance that will be extremely difficult to reverse. Then there’s the simple fact that this serves as a very clear reminder of our mortality. Teeth go bad and fall out, and we can never replace them naturally. Below are some tooth decay stages.

Tooth Decay Stages at Omaha Dentists

Fortunately, if you spot the signs of tooth decay early, you can stop it in its tracks. Here are the stages of tooth decay you need to look out for.

White Spots

The first sign that a tooth is decaying is the appearance of chalky white areas on the surface. This is due to a lack of calcium.

Enamel Decay

This then leads into the breakup of the enamel that of course being the shiny and resistant coating on the top of the tooth. Natural remineralization does not occur and so you begin to see a lesion forming underneath.

Dentin Decay

Next the dentin begins to decay. This is the more tender area beneath the enamel and thus this is also when the tooth begins to hurt.

Involvement of the Pulp

This is the center of the tooth and the living tissue. Once this area is affected, the damage will be irreversible. It can cause pain and eventually it can kill the nerve – root canal therapy is likely the necessary next step.


An abscess is the last sign of tooth decay and the worst. This is when the decay reaches the tip of the root, where it connects with the bones. This can lead to swelling and slurred speech.

Tooth Loss

At this point, the only recourse left available is to completely remove the tooth.

Regency Family Dentistry Omaha

Whether your teeth needs are a complete exam and cleaning, a full-mouth restoration, or anything in between, we promise to provide you with exceptional care as we enhance the natural beauty of your smile.  Below are just some of the many procedures and dental services we regularly provide to our patients – with a gentle touch, and stunning results.  Your smile is our first priority, and we’ll give you something to smile about.

Preventative Dentistry

  • Dental Exams
  • Dental Cleanings
  • Oral Cancer Exam
  • Fluoride Treatment
  • Sealants
  • Dental X-Rays
  • Home Care
  • Nightguards & Mouthguards

Cosmetic Dentistry

  • Dental Implants
  • Composite Fillings
  • Porcelain Crowns
  • FixedPorcelain Bridges
  • Porcelain Veneers
  • Tooth Whitening

Periodontal Disease

  • What is Periodontal (Gum) Disease?
  • Diagnosis
  • Treatment
  • Maintenance

Restorative Dentistry

  • Dental Implants
  • Inlay Restorations
  • Onlay Restorations
  • Composite Fillings
  • Crowns
  • Dentures & Partial Dentures
  • Fixed Bridges
  • Root Canal Therapy

Oral Surgery

  • Wisdom Teeth Extractions

Have Any Questions?

Contact us today! We are happy to answer any questions you might have.

Dear Valued Patient

Happy 2024! All of us at Regency Dental hope your year is off to a great start. As many of you have already witnessed, there are changes occurring within our practice for the past several months. Dr. Spanel is in a time of transition within the practice, and he has found a colleague who shares his core values, philosophy, and sense of personalized quality care. He was fortunate to find Dr. Dan Ellingson who is a wonderful, gentle dentist. Dr. Ellingson is a local graduate of Gross High School, UNO, and UNMC College of Dentistry. He has a strong commitment to our local community. Having this opportunity to own a private practice, Dr. Ellingson is eager to meet each of you. He and all staff members will continue working diligently to provide you with the same caring, calm and meticulous dental care you would expect to receive from Dr. Spanel.

As we continue to move forward in 2024 with this transition, we thank you for your trust, partnership, and patience as we welcome Dr. Ellingson to the practice. We have additional team members, and have updated our software programs to comply with HIPAA regulations of paperless charting. We are also updating our equipment to provide state-of-the-art care.

We all know that changes bring challenges. Please know that Dr. Spanel, Dr. Ellingson and the team at Regency Dental intend to provide you, our loyal patients, the very best dental care in a warm and compassionate atmosphere. If you haven’t scheduled your 2024 dental check-ups, please call us!

We look forward to seeing you again soon!


The Doctors and Staff at Regency Dental.