What Is Recurrent Tooth Decay?

A majority of dental patients experience at least one cavity in their lifetime. Their dentist can resolve this early form of tooth decay within one appointment using a dental filling.

However, without taking proper care of your smile, it is possible to get another cavity under this dental work in a condition that dentists refer to as recurrent tooth decay. Dr. Melvin Benson, a dentist practicing in Greeley, CO, provides further information about recurrent decay formation, treatment, and prevention.

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How Does a Cavity Develop Under a Dental Filling?

A cavity is an initial stage of tooth decay and occurs when the outer layer of your tooth, enamel, has eroded or worn down. Consuming acidic foods or relaxing your oral hygiene routine may contribute to cavity formation.

Your dentist drills away the decay and covers the vulnerable section of your tooth with a dental filling to resolve this problem and restore your smile. But if this dental work sustains damage, the seal of the filling may break, allowing plaque to affect this part of the tooth. If a new cavity forms under the filling, dentists will call it recurrent tooth decay.

How Will My Dentist Treat Recurrent Decay?

Your dentist can treat recurrent tooth decay similarly to how they fix an initial cavity. If a dentist notices recurrent decay on an x-ray, they will begin the procedure to treat it by giving the patient a local anesthetic for optimal comfort in the dentist’s chair.

They will then remove the damaged dental filling so that they can access the affected area of the tooth. Just as with an initial cavity, the dentist will drill the decay away from the tooth.

They will use another filling to seal and protect the tooth at the conclusion of the procedure. If too much of the tooth has been harmed by decay, the dentist may need to cover the tooth with a dental crown.

How Can I Prevent This Dental Issue?

A dental patient can lower their risk of developing recurrent decay by taking proper care of their prior dental work. They should avoid biting down on hard items that may cause a filling to become loose. They should also let their dentist know if they have a habit of grinding or clenching their teeth, as this pressure may negatively impact their dental work.

Patients can prevent cavities by maintaining good oral hygiene habits. This entails brushing teeth twice every day, flossing daily, and visiting their dentist for routine teeth cleanings and oral health exams.

Find Optimal Preventative Dental Care in Greeley, CO

Integrated Dental Arts offers both preventative and emergency dental care to patients of all ages. Dr. Benson is an expert dentist in Greeley, CO, specializing in implant, restorative, general, and cosmetic dentistry, including professional teeth whitening treatment. To schedule a consultation or appointment with our practice, contact our staff by phone at 970.281.5972 or reach our office online.