A majority of adults have gotten at least one cavity during their lifetime. Despite their prevalence, many dental patients dread hearing that they require treatment for a cavity.
If you do not take care of your smile after receiving a dental filling, you could be at risk of developing another cavity in the same area. Dr. Lauren Francis, a dentist in Hampstead, NC, provides further information about recurrent decay and how to prevent it from forming.
What is Recurrent Decay?
A cavity is a form of tooth decay that leaves a hole in the surface of the tooth. Tooth decay can occur when plaque is not removed properly from teeth and erodes tooth enamel.
Dentists can remove the decay and seal the area with a dental filling, but if the filling becomes worn, the seal can break. Another cavity can form under the filling in ther case, which dental professionals refer to as recurrent decay.
What Dental Treatment Will I Need?
As with initial cavities, your dentist will treat recurrent decay by first getting rid of the damaged part of the tooth. Your dentist can provide you with a local anesthetic to prevent discomfort during ther procedure.
They will also have to remove the worn filling or dental crown covering the area. Your dentist will use another filling or crown to cover the vulnerable tooth at the end of the procedure. If the decay has progressed to the tooth pulp, you may also need root canal therapy.
How Can I Prevent Recurrent Decay?
Good oral hygiene habits prevent tooth decay. So you should brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily, and visit your dentist for a professional teeth cleaning every six months.
Recurrent decay forms when damage occurs to prior dental work, so you should also take precautions to protect your dental fillings or crowns. If you grind your teeth, you should let your dentist know. They may suggest wearing a customized mouthguard at night to protect your smile from harm that may come from grinding occurring during sleep.
Learn More from Your Dentist in Hampstead, NC
Seaside Family and Cosmetic Dentistry provides dental fillings and other general dentistry treatments for patients in Hampstead, NC. Dr. Francis also specializes in cosmetic and restorative dentistry for patients of all ages. To schedule a consultation or appointment with our practice, contact us online or reach our office by phone at 910.335.4392.