A majority of American adults experience at least one cavity during their lifetime. Dentists treat this issue with a dental filling, which protects the vulnerable tooth from accruing further damage.
But if you neglect your oral health, a cavity can form under the filling in what dental professionals call recurrent decay. Dr. Jim Lassiter, a dentist located near Milton, FL, defines recurrent decay and describes treatment and prevention tips for this dental problem.
What Is Recurrent Decay?
A cavity is a form of tooth decay in which enamel is eaten away to create a hole in the surface of the tooth. Your dentist can treat this issue within one appointment and fill the hole with composite resin, shielding the vulnerable area from further dental harm.
If you do not take proper care of your teeth, the dental filling can wear down and break the seal, allowing for the possibility of cavity formation under the filling. This is what dentists refer to as recurrent decay.
What Treatment Will I Need for Recurrent Decay?
To access the decay underneath the dental filling, your dentist will first need to remove the damaged filling. Then, as with treating an initial cavity, your dentist will drill away the decayed portion of tooth enamel.
Your dentist will fill the resulting hole in the tooth with composite resin once again to complete the treatment of recurrent decay. More extensive damage may require a dental crown to cover the area. If the decay has extended to the pulp of the tooth, your dentist may also recommend root canal therapy.
Can I Prevent Cavities from Forming Under My Filling?
You can prevent cavity formation with proper oral hygiene regimens, including brushing your teeth twice per day and flossing daily. You should also take care of your dental work so that fillings can continue protecting vulnerable parts of your teeth.
For this reason, you should talk to your dentist if you have a habit of grinding or clenching your teeth. This behavior could wear down fillings which could create an opportunity for decay to develop under the dental work.
Learn More from Your Dentist in Milton, FL
Dr. Lassiter offers dental crowns and other restorative dental solutions to patients in Milton, FL. Our practice also specializes in cosmetic and general dentistry for patients of all ages. To schedule a consultation or appointment with our team, contact us online or reach our office by phone at 850.427.5891.