What Is Recurrent Decay?

A majority of the global population experiences a cavity at least once in their lives. A dental professional can treat this tooth decay with a dental filling, and the patient can return to their daily lives after one appointment.

However, if a filling becomes damaged, another cavity may form under your dental work. Take care of your oral health to preserve the structure of your smile. Dr. Nishan Halim, a dentist practicing in Washington, DC, describes recurrent tooth decay formation and the procedure your dental professional will employ to treat it.

treat tooth decay in Washington DC

Can a Cavity Form Under My Dental Filling?

A cavity is a form of tooth decay, which develops when acids, bacteria, or plaque begin to break down the tooth’s enamel, or the surface of the tooth. Your dentist can spot this type of structural dental damage during a routine exam, though some patients may notice tooth sensitivity or other symptoms if they have a cavity.

Dentists treat this issue with a dental filling, which creates a seal and protects the tooth from further harm. However, if the filling wears down or falls out of place, tooth decay can reach this part of the tooth and form another cavity. Dental professionals refer to this type of cavity as recurrent tooth decay.

How Will My Dentist Treat Recurrent Decay?

Your dentist can diagnose recurrent decay through x-ray imaging taken during a routine dental appointment. They can treat this cavity in the same way that they will get rid of an initial cavity.

First, the dentist will need to access the area underneath a filling or other dental work to get to the cavity. They will provide a patient with a local anesthetic for optimal comfort before beginning this procedure and removing the filling or crown.

Then the dentist will drill away the decay from the tooth, which can leave a hole in the surface of the tooth. Dentists will fill the hole with another dental filling to complete the procedure. Some patients may need a dental crown to cover the tooth if decay has advanced.

Can I Prevent This Type of Tooth Decay?

To prevent the development of recurrent tooth decay, you should protect your fillings and other dental work so that they can shield your teeth without issue. This means that you should steer clear of abnormally high amounts of pressure on your teeth. Teeth grinding and biting down on hard items could damage your fillings, so these habits should be avoided.

You can also lower your risk of forming cavities in general by practicing good oral hygiene. This entails brushing your teeth twice each day, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist for regular cleanings.

Schedule Regular Exams with Your Dentist in Washington, DC

Dr. Halim is an expert dentist who provides both preventative and emergency dental care to patients in the greater Washington, DC area. Our practice specializes in general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry, including tooth replacement solutions. To schedule an appointment with us, contact our office by phone at 202.318.4113 or reach our staff online.