Enamel, the outer layer of our teeth, is the hardest substance in the human body. A protective layer, it prevents bacteria and acids from attacking the inside of the teeth—more specifically, the dentin and pulp.
Over time, however, it can become damaged and that’s what causes cavities.
Fortunately, it’s possible to prevent it with proper dental hygiene and that includes going to the dentist for regular checkups.
Interested in knowing what some of the most common dental procedures are? If so, you’re in luck because that’s what we’ll be discussing in this post.
Keep reading to learn more about the topic!
The Importance of Going to a Dentist
Going to the dentist is important for several reasons. For one thing, they’re the only ones who can remove plaque and tartar from your teeth (it’s not something that you can get rid of with regular brushing).
Not only that, but they’ll be able to check your mouth for gum disease. That way, you’ll be able to prevent problems before they happen.
How often should you go? At least once every 6 months.
7 of the Most Common Dental Procedures
There are various dental procedures that dentists perform. Here are some of the most common ones.
1. Dental Fillings
Dental fillings are special materials that are used to restore decayed or damaged teeth. For example, they can be used to treat cavities or fractures, the former of which is more common.
In terms of the actual procedure, the dentist will first numb the area with a local anesthetic. From there, they will remove the decayed area with a laser or drill.
Once that’s done, they will put the filling in, which is usually made of composite resin, porcelain, gold, or silver amalgam. Finally, they will polish the surface.
Note: Generally speaking, they will take x-rays prior to the procedure to see the extent of the damage.
2. Dental Crowns
Dental crowns are tooth-shaped “caps” that go over damaged teeth. For example, you might need one if you have a broken tooth. Not only that, but they’re usually used to cover teeth that have been treated with a root canal.
Material-wise, they can be made of various substances including ceramic, porcelain, metal (e.g. gold, chromium, nickel, palladium), zirconia, and composite resin crowns.
Note: Dental crowns typically require two visits—one to prepare the crown and one to place it on your tooth. With that said, some dental offices do offer same-day dental crowns.
3. Dental Implants
Dental implants are surgical fixtures that are placed into your jaw to replace missing teeth. That is, they serve as a permanent base for permanent prosthetics.
First things first, the oral surgeon will extract the damaged root. Once it’s gone, they’ll drill a hole into the jawbone.
They will then implant a metal prosthetic root into the bone. The gum tissue will then be stitched back into place. As it heals, the implant will attach to the gum.
Once it’s healed, a process that can take several months, they will attach an abutment to the implant, which will allow them to connect an artificial tooth to the implant.
4. Teeth Whitening
Various things such as tea and coffee can stain our teeth. The good news is that most dental clinics do offer whitening services.
How are they different from at-home treatments? For one thing, they usually use custom-made trays that are less likely to irritate your gums.
Not only that, but the bleach solutions that they use are much stronger. In other words, your teeth will whiten much more quickly. Depending on the dentist, they might also speed up the process with a light or heat source.
5. Root Canals
Root canals are a type of dental procedure that’s used to remove the pulp of a tooth. More specifically, they’re performed when the tissue becomes infected or inflamed.
For example, you might need a root canal if you have a crack in the tooth or a deep decay.
As for the procedure itself, it’s usually done under local anesthetic. Once the tooth is numb, the dentist will remove the damaged pulp with a special tool.
From there, they’ll coat the tooth with a topical antibiotic and seal it off.
6. Tooth Extraction
There are several reasons why a tooth extraction might be necessary. For example, a dentist might pull teeth to prepare the mouth for orthodontic treatment.
Another common reason is infection. That is, a dentist might opt for a tooth extraction if there’s an infection that cannot be treated with oral antibiotics. In doing so, you won’t have to worry about it spreading to other areas.
While most tooth extractions are performed under local anesthetic, some dentists may choose to use a general anesthetic.
7. Teeth Bonding
Teeth bonding is a procedure in which soft composite resin is used to fix chipped, fractured, or discolored teeth. Not only that, but it allows dentists to close small gaps in between teeth.
A relatively quick procedure, it usually takes between 30 to 60 minutes. With that said, some appointments may run longer depending on the extent of the procedure.
Familiarizing Yourself With Different Dental Procedures
And there you have it—seven of the most common dental procedures. As you can see, there are quite a number of things that dentists can do!
Looking for more articles like this? If so, be sure to check out some of our other pages!