It’s always a good idea to do your research on the dental procedures that you’re interested in having done, so that you can make an informed decision about your dental care. You’ll want to ensure that you know what to expect from the procedure and that it actually works.
There are many types of dental procedures. Some procedures are more common than others. Some fall into the category of elective or cosmetic dentistry, while others may be necessary to restore your teeth back to good health.
Here are the 12 most common dental procedures and how they work:
1. Dental Fillings
Dental fillings are one of the most common procedures performed by dentists because they’re so effective at preventing tooth decay and restoring teeth that have had damage because of decay or injury. When a dentist performs a filling, they first remove any decay from inside your tooth with an ultrasonic scaler or hand instrument. Then they use a special type of material called amalgam or composite resin to fill in the space left by the decay or injury.
Amalgam is made from mercury mixed with other metals like tin or copper; composite resins are made from plastic materials that look like tooth enamel when they’re finished. Both types of materials bond tightly with your tooth enamel, so they stay securely in place even after extensive chewing activities such as eating steak. And both types come in many colors so they blend seamlessly into your smile.
2. Teeth Cleaning
This is a common dental procedure involving the removal of plaque from your teeth and gums, as well as polishing them for an overall clean feeling. During the procedure, your dentist will use specialized instruments such as a scaler or water irrigation device to remove tartar build-up on the surface of your teeth (also known as calculus). They will also use special fluoride solutions to clean below the gum line where plaque can hide out if left untreated.
How often should you get your teeth cleaned?
The American Dental Association recommends getting your teeth cleaned once every six months unless otherwise recommended by your dentist based on how often you consume acidic foods or drinks (which can erode enamel), how often you brush and floss, and so on.
3. Root Canal Therapy
If you have a toothache, your dentist will probably recommend a root canal. This is a procedure used to treat infection and save the tooth from having to be pulled. A root canal is performed on the inside of your tooth (known as the pulp), which is filled with nerves and blood vessels that carry nutrients to your teeth. The pulp may become infected if bacteria enter it through cracks or chips in the outer layer of enamel, breaking apart its protective barrier against pathogens.
To start, your dentist will remove any decay from around the infected area so they can access it better during treatment. Your dentist then cleans out any discolored or infected tissue using special instruments while numbing medication helps relieve pain. Next, they’ll remove all living nerve cells in order to prevent them from causing inflammation.
Once this step has been completed, they’ll fill up any space left behind with dental cement or another material that hardens over time. They complete the procedure by sealing off any openings left behind before restoring normal function by replacing missing parts using crowns made of porcelain or resin materials.
4. Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening is one of the most popular dental procedures, and for good reason — it’s a quick and easy way to improve your smile. When you have teeth that aren’t as white as you would like them to be, there are many options available today to help fix that problem.
You can have your dentist apply bleaching agents directly onto the surface of your teeth using special tools called rubber trays (this procedure is commonly known as in-office whitening), or simply choose a product that will allow you to use it at home (which is referred to as take-home teeth whitening). No matter what method works best for you, teeth whitening can make a big difference in how confident and happy you feel about yourself.
Braces are used to correct the alignment of your teeth. They do this by applying pressure to your teeth and moving them into their proper position. Once they’ve been moved into place, you’ll have peace from crookedness. There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to how long you need braces; how long they stay on will depend on what kind of treatment plan your dentist recommends for your case and other factors like age and personal preference. In most cases, treatment will last anywhere from two years upwards. The most popular alternative to braces is Invisalign.
Tooth extraction or exodontia is the removal of teeth from the jawbone. It is performed by a dentist or oral surgeon and is usually done to remove severely damaged, decayed or broken teeth. The most common reasons for tooth extraction include:
• Infection — a tooth that is infected can be removed to treat the infection and prevent any complications, such as spreading of the infection to other parts of your body.
• Decay — the decay process can damage a tooth so much that it becomes impossible for a dentist to fill it with a filling material. Here, you will need an extraction procedure to remove the infected tooth and restore your smile.
• Trauma — if you are in an accident, fall, or get hit with something, your teeth can get damaged or knocked out completely. You will need an extraction if one or more of your teeth have been knocked out as they cannot be reinserted into their sockets like they were before they were knocked out due to damage caused by trauma.
With bonding (or “dental bonding”), your dentist will use a mold of your teeth to produce custom-fit plastic pieces. The plastic is then bonded onto the surface of your tooth with a special adhesive that hardens over time. Bonding is typically used to repair minor chips, cracks, and gaps in teeth.
Veneers are thin shells made from porcelain or resin and attached directly to the front of teeth for cosmetic purposes. These shells can be cut and shaped so they fit perfectly over each individual tooth. Veneers can last many years if properly cared for and maintained. The big advantage with veneers is how natural-looking they are once finished — most people won’t even realize you had work done until you tell them.
9. Gum Disease Therapy (Scaling and Root Planing)
Gum disease is a bacterial infection that affects the gums and bones supporting your teeth. The most common symptom of gum disease is bleeding from the gums when you brush or floss, but other symptoms include bad breath and loose teeth (because of bone loss).
If left unchecked, gum disease can cause more serious problems such as tooth decay and even bone loss. This is why it’s so important to see your dentist for regular checkups. They can detect signs of gum disease early on so treatment can begin before any serious damage occurs.
Scaling and root planing (S&R) are procedures used to treat periodontal diseases such as gingivitis and advanced stages of periodontitis by removing plaque buildup from below the gum line. S&R also helps remove tartar buildup around your roots and expose them in order to clean them properly with an ultrasonic scaler or curette tool.
10. Dental Implants
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are placed into your jawbone to hold a crown, bridge, or dentures in place. A titanium nail is surgically inserted into your jawbone, and then the implant is left under the gums to heal. Over time, it fuses with your bone and becomes part of you. As they heal, they feel just like real teeth.
You’re a suitable candidate for dental implants if:
• You have enough bone left in your mouth for an implant
• You don’t smoke (smoking reduces bone density)
• Your health isn’t compromised by any other medical conditions
• You take care of yourself (eat right and exercise regularly)
• You aren’t afraid of surgery or anesthesia
A bridge is used to replace one or more missing teeth by placing crowns on either side of an artificial tooth (called a pontic) that fit over the gap in your smile. The pontic is attached to two crowns, which are connected by metal pins called abutments. These are mounted on either side of the gap between two teeth and serve as anchors for holding the entire bridge in place.
Crowns are caps made of porcelain or plastic that are placed over an existing tooth to restore its shape, size, and strength after root canal therapy or other dental procedures such as fractures or cracks. They’re also used to protect weak teeth from further damage, such as from grinding your teeth during sleep or biting into hard objects like ice cubes.
It’s important to maintain good dental health, and the best way to do that is by practicing good oral hygiene. Make it a habit to brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush, floss every day, and schedule frequent visits with your dentist for cleanings and checkups. If you practice proper dental care, you can avoid many of the issues that arise from poor oral hygiene, including cavities and gum disease.
Feel Good About Your Smile Again…
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