$49 for a Dental Exam, Cleaning, and X-rays at Smile Dental ($145 Value)

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The Deal

  • $49 for a dental exam, cleaning, and x-rays $145 value)

Cavities: Portrait of an Enamel Assassin

One primary purpose of a dental appointment is checking for cavities. To learn exactly how they form, read on.

Cavities—also known as dental caries or simply tooth decay—form as the direct result of two interplaying factors: food and bacteria. As soon as 20 minutes after a meal, more than 500 types of bacteria begin to feast on any refined sugar or starch they can find, producing a potent acid as a byproduct. Tooth enamel is considered the hardest substance in the human body, but if left alone for extended periods, this acid can easily bore its way past the enamel and into the inner layers of the tooth, which house nerves, blood vessels, and minerals worth approximately 25 cents on the fairies' black market. Cavities can be difficult to notice in time—many don’t exhibit pain in the early stages of development, and they often occur in hard-to-clean spots, such as the small crevices on the top of molars. What's more, unlike a child's missing tooth, enamel doesn't grow back. Once it's gone, it's gone forever.

In a study conducted in Warwickshire, England, fossilized records showed that only 8% of people living in the Iron Age experienced tooth decay—a stark contrast to today’s 48%. Granted, blacksmiths might have been able to forge strong toothpicks, but there's a larger culprit to blame: the influx of carbohydrates, sugars, and processed foods that became more common in later humans' diets. To counter the increase in oral ailments, dentistry evolved from a field that relied solely on bare-knuckle boxing matches to one that delicately treats decay as it appears, most often by removing the acid-eaten portions of the tooth and rebuilding the structure with a cement filling or crown. As always, however, the best offense is a good defense—dentists recommend brushing daily and visiting the office twice a year to prevent cavities from even forming.

  1. 1

    Los Angeles

    3356 East Olympic Boulevard

    Los Angeles, California 90023

    323-269-5221

    Get Directions
  2. 2

    Smile Dental

    2634 Clarendon Ave

    Huntington Park, California 90255

    Get Directions

In a Nutshell

Spanish-speaking staff keeps smiles healthy and bright with a thorough exam, cleaning, and x-rays

The Fine Print

Expires 180 days after purchase. Not valid for clients active within the past 12 month(s). Must sign waiver. Consultation required; non-candidates and other refund requests will be honored before service provided. Not valid with insurance. Appointment required. Subject to availability. Merchant's standard cancellation policy applies (any fees not to exceed Groupon price). Limit 1 per person, may buy 2 additional as gifts. Valid only for option purchased. All goods or services must be used by the same person. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.

Upkeep essentials, such as electric toothbrushes and laser hair removal