Restorations, often known as tooth fillings, are a frequent dental operation. Cavities can affect anyone, regardless of age, and the problem does not disappear. Dental caries may be prevalent, but the diagnosis can still upset a patient. Some of the most common inquiries are variations on the following themes: how can I have two cavities on the same tooth is generally asked by patients at general dentistry in Burlingame, CA.

Multiple restorations in one tooth

There are two chewing surfaces and three non-chewing surfaces on each tooth. A tooth that has decay on both sides or at the two contact locations will require two restorations.  Two restorations would be ideal to ensure the tooth’s continued health and stability.  Dental fillings involve the removal of decay and its replacement with either a composite (tooth-colored) or amalgam (silver-colored) material. It is common to need a filling on one side of a tooth one year and then on the other several years later.

Crowns and Decay

Larger fillings are typically necessary when deterioration is extensive. A more significant amount of healthy tooth tissue must be drilled to accommodate a more extensive filling. As a result, crowns, rather than fillings, are frequently suggested. When a filling is insufficient to save a tooth, a crown might do the job instead. Despite our best hopes, deterioration can develop beneath a crown. Thus, replacement may be necessary.

Unless the crown is removed, decay under it is hidden and inaccessible. Although your dentist can try to fill a cavity at the crown, it is usually required to remove the crown entirely if deterioration is present. Your dentists are unable to take the crown off without damaging it.

Aging and decay

Increased use of medication for various health issues is associated with increased tooth decay as people age. Dry mouth, which occurs when your mouth does not produce enough saliva, is an unwelcome side effect of many of the medical advances we have made. Saliva acts as a first line of defense against tooth decay. 

It also helps maintain a healthy pH level in the mouth and removes harmful bacteria and plaque buildup. However, as we age, our ability to floss and brush effectively can decline due to various internal and external factors promoting tooth disease.

Corroding repeatedly

It is impossible to predict how long a restoration will endure, although we hope it will be for quite some time. A new filling may be necessary if decay returns in a patient’s tooth. Fillings might deteriorate over time. “Leaking” is the term for this phenomenon, which occurs before a toothache develops. 

This evidence is readily apparent and appears around the filling itself, typically beginning at the filling’s outside edge. This is why regular checkups, cleanings, and X-rays are crucial for oral health. It will usually be visible to the doctor or hygienist before you feel sick.