If you develop a cavity in your tooth, your dentist can treat the issue within one appointment using a dental filling. However, is the problem completely resolved after this dental work?
The dentist will remove the damaged area of the tooth and protect it with the filling, but without proper care for your dental work, you may develop a cavity underneath the filling, a condition which dentists call recurrent decay. Dr. Joyce Kim, a dentist located in Williamsport, PA, provides further details about recurrent tooth decay formation, treatment, and prevention.
Can a Cavity Form Under a Dental Filling?
A cavity forms when the outer surface of your tooth, enamel, erodes, usually due to lax oral hygiene or consuming acidic foods. This early form of tooth decay creates minute holes in the tooth, which can leave dental patients with uncomfortable symptoms like tooth sensitivity.
A dentist treats the issue by drilling away the damaged section of the tooth and filling the residual hole with composite resin. The cavity is gone, and the vulnerable part of the tooth is sealed and protected by the dental filling.
The initial cavity will not return, but if the filling wears down or becomes loose, a new cavity could form in the tooth. Dentists refer to this second cavity as recurrent decay.
How Will My Dentist Treat Recurrent Tooth Decay?
Your dentist will treat your recurrent decay similarly to how they would get rid of a cavity. First, your dentist will provide you with a local anesthetic so that you can remain comfortable throughout the procedure.
Then, your dentist will need to access the cavity, so they will remove the prior dental work. The dental professional will then drill away the cavity.
They can use another filling to protect the tooth at the conclusion of the procedure. If the decay has advanced to affect a large portion of the tooth, the dentist may need to cover the tooth with a dental crown rather than a filling.
Can I Prevent Recurrent Decay?
You can prevent the formation of a cavity under your dental work by taking care of your smile after receiving a filling or a crown. Follow your dentist’s aftercare guidelines and avoid placing abnormally high amounts of pressure on your teeth.
This means you should not bite down on hard items, such as fingernails or ice. Let your dentist know if you have a habit of grinding or clenching your teeth, as this could negatively impact your dental work. You can also practice good oral hygiene to lower your risk of getting cavities.
Get Preventative Dental Care in Williamsport, PA
Loyalsock Dental Associates offers dental filling and other general dental treatments to patients of all ages. Dr. Kim is a highly qualified dentist practicing in Williamsport, PA who also specializes in cosmetic and restorative dentistry, including tooth replacement solutions. To schedule a consultation or appointment with our practice, contact our staff by phone at 570.989.5271 or reach our office online.