When I asked the dentist about it, he said that, in fact, the cavities were that bad, and there were nine of them. It had gotten through the enamel into "the dentin", which is, I guess, the soft vulnerable part. It might take 4 or 5 years to burrow through the enamel but once it's through, *bam* it can eat away dentin very quickly.
So it's time for the fillings. $360 for two today. Another appointment in a few weeks. Ouch. This next one could cost $660 for composite fillings, or $410 for amalgam ones. I'm not so worried about the look of it, as the conductivity of the thing, myself... I should figure out what fillings I currently have and see if I'm having any sensitivity to heat or cold.
And maybe put off the next appointment until I have some more money...
Looks like the third and last appointment will be the most expensive, with 4 fillings (as opposed to 2 in today's or 3 in the next one)... *sigh* I hope work gets funding.