Cavities affect a majority of American adults at some point during their lives. Dentists can treat this dental problem within one appointment with a dental filling.
However, without proper oral health care, you could create a risk of forming cavities underneath a filling in a condition called recurrent decay. Dr. Heather Adams, a dentist practicing in Rogers, AR, responds to frequently asked questions about treating and preventing recurrent tooth decay.
What Is Recurrent Tooth Decay?
Cavities are a form of tooth decay in which a dental patient’s tooth enamel erodes, leaving a hole in the surface of the tooth. A dentist treats the issue by drilling away the decay and filling the resulting hole with composite resin, which seals the vulnerable area and protects it from further dental damage.
However, poor oral hygiene or abnormally high pressures can wear down the dental filling and break the seal. Tooth decay may then form under the filling which will require further treatment from a dental professional. This is referred to as recurrent decay.
How Do Dentists Treat Recurrent Decay?
If your dentist finds recurrent tooth decay in your smile, they must first remove the damaged dental filling or crown to access this area of the tooth. They will provide a local anesthetic for optimal patient comfort during this procedure.
As with an initial cavity, the dentist must treat tooth decay by drilling away the damaged portion of the tooth. They will give the patient another dental filling to protect the area after this treatment. Severe cases of decay may require treatment with a dental crown.
Can I Prevent Cavities Forming Under My Dental Work?
You can prevent recurrent decay as well as initial cavities by practicing good oral hygiene. Removing plaque build-up through brushing teeth twice per day and flossing daily will prevent enamel from deteriorating.
You should also take care of dental fillings, crowns, and other dental work to avoid recurrent decay. If you grind or clench your teeth, you should talk to your dentist to find ways to protect your fillings and your smile.
Learn More During a Dentist Visit in Rogers, AR
Dr. Adams is a highly qualified dentist, offering dental fillings and other general dental treatments to patients in Rogers, AR. Our practice also specializes in restorative, implant, and cosmetic dentistry for patients of all ages. To schedule an appointment or consultation with our team, contact us online or reach our office by phone at 479.323.3011.