A vast majority of people develop at least one cavity in their teeth during their lifetime. Therefore, many individuals are familiar with the treatment of this early form of tooth decay using a dental filling.
What people might not realize is that it is possible to get a cavity underneath this filling if you do not take care of your smile. Dentists refer to this additional cavity as recurrent decay. Dr. Josh Heinsheimer, a dentist serving patients in Leland, NC, elaborates on the causation, treatment, and prevention of recurrent decay.
Can I Get a Cavity Under a Dental Filling?
A cavity, an early stage of tooth decay, can form due to poor oral habits, like eating acidic foods or neglecting oral hygiene. These actions can erode the enamel of your teeth, leaving holes in the surface of your teeth. Cavities require intervention from a dental professional to treat or the damage will worsen.
Your dentist can get rid of the decay and restore the structure of your tooth with a dental filling. This seals the vulnerable area of the tooth, protecting it from further harm.
If the filling sustains damage and this seal breaks, plaque can infiltrate the area. Then it will be possible for a new cavity to form under the filling, which dentists call recurrent tooth decay.
How Will My Dentist Treat Recurrent Tooth Decay?
A dentist will diagnose recurrent decay usually through x-ray imaging after they notice that a dental filling has broken. The treatment for recurrent decay is similar to how a dentist will treat an initial cavity.
They will first need to access the affected area by removing the damaged dental filling. You will receive a local anesthetic so that you will not experience discomfort during this procedure.
Then your dentist will drill away the tooth decay and use another dental filling to cover and seal the resulting hole in the enamel. If the decay is advanced, the dentist may need to employ a dental crown to shield this larger section of the tooth.
Can I Prevent Recurrent Decay Formation?
You can avoid forming a cavity underneath your dental filling or crown by protecting your dental work. This entails avoiding creating abnormally high levels of pressure on your teeth.
Therefore, you should not bite down on hard items like ice, fingernails, or the end of a pen. Talk to your dentist if you have a habit of grinding or clenching your teeth, as this behavior can harm your dental fillings over time.
Treat Tooth Decay and More with Your Dentist in Leland, NC
Waterford Family and Cosmetic Dentistry offers dental fillings, preventative dental care, and other general dental treatments for patients of all ages. Dr. Heinsheimer is a highly qualified dentist in Leland, NC who also specializes in cosmetic and restorative dentistry, including periodontal care. To schedule an appointment with our practice, contact our office by phone at 910.519.1624 or reach a member of our staff online.