What Happens When You Get A Cavity On A Tooth That Has A Filling?

Posted on: 15 March 2017

Dental fillings are one of the most common types of basic dental work performed by dentists, and they are used to fill in holes left by cavities. A cavity can affect any tooth in your mouth and can even affect a tooth that already has a filling in it. If you encounter a cavity in a tooth that already has a filling, your dentist might be able to fix it with another filling; however, this will depend on several different factors. Here are a few things to understand about multiple fillings in teeth.

A tooth can handle multiple fillings in some cases

Generally speaking, a tooth can handle multiple fillings; however, this is assuming the fillings are very small. In other words, a dentist will not automatically rule out fixing a cavity with a filling if a tooth already has a filling in it. The dentist will, however, determine if this is a feasible option by closely examining the tooth.

The decision is based on the amount of tooth structure

Each time a tooth develops decay on it, the decay should be removed. The important thing to realize about this is that each time a dentist removes the decay, the structure of the tooth weakens. A tooth that is healthy is extremely strong, but that is because it has its entire original structure. Removing any part of a tooth will naturally weaken it, and this is the main factor a dentist considers when determining if another filling will work.

If the dentist believes that adding another filling will not compromise the tooth's strength in a way that makes the tooth vulnerable to further problems, the dentist will probably recommend using a filling to fix the problem. If adding another filling will cause the tooth to be too weak, the dentist is likely to suggest a different remedy for the problem.

The other remedy is a dental crown

A dental crown is commonly used in this type of situation, because it solves both problems. It not only can replace part of a tooth that must be removed due to decay, but it also adds strength to the tooth. A crown is a one-piece dental product made exclusively for the person that needs it. Crowns last a very long time and are ideal for teeth that require multiple fillings.

If you have not had your teeth examined and cleaned by a dentist recently, you should consider going. To learn more, schedule an appointment with a dentist today.