A majority of Americans experience at least one cavity in their lives. Dentists can treat this issue in one appointment with a dental filling.
However, it is possible to develop a cavity under this filling if a patient is not careful with their dental work. Dental professionals refer to this condition as recurrent decay. Dr. Alan Dechter and Dr. Matthew Moy, a dental team practicing in Silver Spring, MD, respond to frequently asked questions about recurrent tooth decay.
What Is Recurrent Tooth Decay?
A cavity is a form of tooth decay where a portion of a tooth’s enamel erodes to create a hole. Your dentist treats this problem by drilling away the decay and filling the hole with composite resin. The dental filling creates a seal and protects the tooth from further harm.
However, if the filling wears down or becomes loose, plaque can infiltrate the area and hurt your enamel. When a cavity forms in this area, dental professionals can diagnose the issue as recurrent decay.
How Will My Dentist Treat Recurrent Decay?
To access the area underneath the dental filling, your dentist must remove the filling. They can provide a local anesthetic for this procedure for optimal patient comfort.
Then, as with an initial cavity, the dentist uses a drill to get rid of the damaged part of the tooth enamel. The dentist completes the procedure by giving the patient another dental filling to cover the vulnerable area.
Cases of advanced tooth decay may require a dental crown rather than a filling. If the decay reaches the pulp of the tooth, the patient may need root canal therapy.
Can I Prevent Cavities from Forming Under Dental Work?
Dental patients can prevent cavity formation as well as recurrent decay by practicing good oral hygiene. Brushing teeth twice a day and flossing daily prevents plaque from lingering and damaging your teeth.
You should also protect your dental work so that cavities cannot develop in this vulnerable area of your smile. Teeth grinding and clenching can wear down your dental filling, so you should talk to your dentist if you notice that you exhibit this behavior.
Schedule a Routine Dentist Exam in Silver Spring, MD
Dr. Dechter and Dr. Moy provide routine dental cleanings and exams for patients in Silver Spring, MD. Schedule an appointment by contacting us online or give us a call at 301-508-9755.