A majority of people develop at least one cavity during their lifetime. You are likely familiar with the way that your dentist can drill away this early stage of tooth decay and fill the resulting hole in the tooth with composite resin to treat the issue.
Once your dentist gets rid of a cavity, the decay is gone from the tooth for good. But are you at risk of further dental issues after this treatment? Read on to learn about treating cavities and the chances of forming another cavity after your dental work.
How Long Do Dental Fillings Last?
When your dentist treats a cavity, they use a dental filling to seal the hole in the tooth caused by decay. Often, this is made from composite resin, which molds to fit the hole and creates a seal over the area as the dentist cures it.
The durable filling can withstand the usual wear and tear that your teeth experience. But accidents may occur in which a filling can fall out of place. If this happens, you should contact your dentist as soon as you can to have it replaced.
Without the filling, the vulnerable interior of your tooth becomes exposed to plaque and other dangers. You could get another cavity this way. But with proper care, your filling can remain in place in your tooth for seven to ten years.
Can a Cavity Form Under Dental Work?
A cavity will not grow back once a dentist removes it and gives you a filling. However, if the seal of the dental filling breaks, plaque can access the vulnerable area of your tooth. Then you can form a new cavity under your dental work. Dentists refer to this issue as recurrent tooth decay.
Your dentist can spot this problem using x-ray imaging if they notice damage to your filling during a routine exam. They can treat this new cavity just as they would treat an initial one, though they will need to remove the old filling to reach the recurrent decay.
How Can I Prevent Recurrent Tooth Decay?
Good oral hygiene removes plaque in a timely manner before it can heighten your risk of cavities. Therefore, to prevent recurrent tooth decay, you should continue brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily.
Routine teeth cleanings are another major part of proper oral hygiene. During these dental visits, your dentist can also see any issues with your dental work that may cause recurrent decay. Then they can fix the issue promptly before you get another cavity.
Your dental fillings may wear down and harm the seal over your teeth if you grind or clench your teeth. The pressure of this grating can harm your dental work and put your oral health at risk. If you notice this habit, let your dentist know. They can help you reduce this behavior and protect your teeth from damage that may occur in your sleep without your awareness.