Did you just get a new crown at your dental office? With good oral hygiene and care, this restoration could last between five and fifteen years. While a crown can protect the remaining enamel of your tooth, one thing you should be aware of is recurrent cavities. Read on to learn more about this issue.
What Is a Recurrent Cavity?
A recurrent cavity is a cavity that forms underneath a dental restoration, such as a filling, crown, inlay, or onlay. While restorations are custom-fitted to your tooth, they aren't as smooth as natural teeth, and tiny bits of food debris and germs can sometimes get in through microscopic pathways—especially near the gum line where the perimeter of the crown borders the tooth.
How Does Your Dentist Help You Treat Recurrent Cavities?
It's important to keep up with regular dental visits and cleanings so your dentist can spot recurrent cavities on X-rays. If you have a recurrent cavity, your dentist will need to remove the old crown, remove the decay, and then get you fitted for a new crown.
Your dentist cannot just place your old crown back on since it won't fit snugly after the decay is removed. Your dentist will have to take a new impression so that a dental lab can fabricate a new crown.
Before your dentist cements this new crown, he or she will likely do a try-in stage to make sure that it has a good, snug fit so that you can avoid more recurrent cavities. Your dentist will also use moisture-control devices, like cotton rolls, high-volume suction devices, and dental dams, so that oral bacteria and moisture aren't trapped underneath the restoration.
Besides Brushing and Flossing, What Can You Do to Avoid Recurrent Cavities?
It's important that you don't chew on ice, hard candy, pens, or other hard objects since this action can cause the crown to loosen and develop fractures where bacteria can get in.
If you have worn-down tooth cusps or have prematurely worn-down crown restorations, you should ask your dentist about a night guard. You may be suffering from bruxism, or tooth grinding, which can chip dental restorations and leave you prone to recurrent cavities.
Lastly, you should be aware of the signs of recurrent decay so that you don't wait months until your next dental appointment. If you have swollen gums near the crown or a toothache, you could have a recurrent cavity. Recurrent cavities can also cause tooth sensitivity, bleeding when brushing or flossing, and/or gray discoloration near the gum line where the dental cement has broken down.
Contact a dentist office in your area today for more information on crowns and how to treat recurrent cavities.