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Recurrent Caries

Recurrent dental caries (tooth decay) around a gold crown.

Recurrent caries (tooth decay) at the margin of a gold crown. It is a potentially costly mistake to think that teeth which are covered with crowns cannot decay further.

Recurrent caries is tooth decay that occurs under existing dental restorations, such as fillings, crowns, or onlays. It may be caused by poor oral hygiene, or by development of a microscopic pathway for leakage (micro leakage) past the dental restoration.

Microleakage allows acids and bacteria access to areas of the tooth that are not accessible to toothbrush bristles or other oral hygiene aids.The possibility of microleakage is a strong motivator for replacement of questionable dental restorations, as well as complete removal of old restorative materials (for example, core buildups and bases) in a tooth that will be receiving a new crown or onlay.

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Author: Thomas J. Greany, D.D.S. / Editor: Ken Lambrecht

This page was last updated on March 6, 2018.

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