If you’re like most people, the prospect of dental work is about as appealing as a root canal. But it’s important to understand the different types of dental procedures available, so you can make informed decisions about your oral health care. This article explains some of the more common procedures used by dentists. Keep in mind that every dentist may use slightly different techniques, so be sure to ask questions about any procedure you’re considering.
What is a dental cleaning and why should I get them regularly?
A dental cleaning is a professional cleaning of your teeth that removes plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) that can cause gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath.
While it’s important to brush and floss daily, dental cleanings are vital to keeping your mouth healthy. Many dental insurance plans cover 100% of the cost of professional dental cleanings, making them an affordable way to maintain good oral health. That’s why dental experts recommend getting a dental cleaning every six months.
So if it’s been more than six months since your last dental cleaning, call your dentist today to schedule an appointment. Your mouth will thank you!
What are some restorative dental procedures?
Restorative dental procedures are necessary when the teeth and supporting structures are damaged. The most common restorative procedure is a filling, which is used to repair a tooth that has been damaged by decay.
Other restorative procedures include crowns, bridges, dentures, and dental implants. These procedures are more extensive and are used when the damage to the tooth is too great to be repaired with a filling. In some cases, restorative dental procedures can also be used for cosmetic purposes. For example, porcelain veneers can be used to improve the appearance of teeth that are discolored or have minor irregularities.
While restorative dental procedures can be expensive, they can often lead to improved oral health and a more attractive smile.
What is a dental filling and why would you need one?
A dental filling is a restorative dental procedure used to repair and replace tooth structure that has been lost due to decay or damage. The filling material is usually a tooth-colored resin, which is bonded to the affected tooth.
Once in place, the dental filling will restore the strength and function of the tooth. In addition, it will also help to prevent further decay or damage from occurring. Fillings are an important part of maintaining dental health, and they can be used to treat a variety of dental problems. If you think you may need a dental filling, be sure to see your dentist for an evaluation
What is a dental crown and when would you need one?
A dental crown is a dental restoration that covers a tooth to restore it to its normal shape, size, and function. When would you need a dental crown? A dental crown may be needed to:
- protect a weak tooth from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth
- restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down
- cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t a lot of tooth left
- hold a dental bridge in place
- cover misshapen or severely discolored teeth
- cap a dental implant
How is a dental crown made?
A dental crown can be made from different materials, including:
- Ceramic (to match the color of your teeth)
- Porcelain fused to metal (may show less gum than ceramic when smiling)
- Gold (can be used for back teeth where chewing forces are greater; these crowns usually last the longest)
- Base metal alloys
- Resin (may chip or wear over time)
Your dentist will work with you to choose the dental crown material that is best for you based on the location of the tooth, your bite, your chewing habits, and your cosmetic desires.
What is a root canal and what are the benefits of having one done?
A root canal is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or infected. The procedure involves removing the damaged or infected tissue from inside the tooth, cleaning and disinfecting the root canal, and then filling and sealing the tooth.
Root canals are performed by dentists and endodontists (dental specialists). There are many benefits of having a root canal, including:
- relieving pain
- preventing further damage to the tooth
- preserving the tooth
- avoiding the need for dental implants or bridges
Root canals are typically very successful, and teeth that have had root canals can last a lifetime with proper care.
What are some additional cosmetic dental procedures?
There are a number of cosmetic dental procedures that can improve the appearance of your teeth and smile. These procedures can be performed by a dentist or orthodontist, and they can range from simple treatments like teeth whitening to more complex procedures like veneers and braces. Some common cosmetic dental procedures include:
- Teeth Whitening: This is a popular cosmetic procedure that can be performed in-office or at home using over-the-counter products. Teeth whitening can help to brighten your smile and make your teeth look healthier.
- Veneers: Veneers are thin, custom-made pieces of porcelain that are bonded to the front of your teeth. They can be used to improve the appearance of your teeth and correct minor imperfections.
- Bonding: Bonding is a cosmetic procedure that involves adding a tooth-colored resin to your teeth in order to improve their appearance. Bonding can be used to correct chips, cracks, and gaps in your teeth.
What is orthodontics and why would I need it for myself or my child?
Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. The word “orthodontics” comes from the Greek words orthos, meaning “straight,” and odous, meaning “tooth.”
Orthodontists use a variety of appliances, such as braces, retainers, headgear, etc, to align teeth and jaws in both children and adults. orthodontic treatment can improve the appearance of your teeth and mouth, help with chewing and speaking, and prevent or correct dental health problems.
If your teeth are crowded or misaligned, you may be a candidate for orthodontic treatment. The best way to find out is to visit an orthodontist for a consultation. During the consultation, your orthodontist will examine your teeth and jaws and take X-rays to determine the best course of treatment.
If you or your child needs orthodontic treatment, there’s no need to worry. orthodontists are specially trained to gently move teeth into their proper positions using state-of-the-art appliances.
Different types of orthodontic treatments include:
- Traditional metal braces
- Invisalign and other similar brands such as ClearCorrect
- Damon braces
- Ceramic braces
- Lingual braces