According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a little under two-thirds of American adults have been to the dentist in the last year. Some go for routine checkups, while others head to the dentist to handle major problems in their mouths.
A lot of people get anxious about these visits. Dental anxiety often comes from knowing little about potential dental treatments.
If you’re looking for ways to avoid jitters at your next dental appointment, look no further. We’ll detail the most common dental procedures and help you figure out what to expect.
Routine dental cleanings help you get a deeper clean than you can achieve by brushing and flossing. Dentists use special tools to clean under your gums and remove surface-level stains. Discoloration from common food and drink dye often goes away after a routine cleaning.
Dentists also treat your teeth with fluoride during a routine cleaning. This makes your teeth stronger.
Many adults and children alike develop cavities, and fillings prevent them from getting worse. During a filling procedure, the dentist drills a small hole to clean out damaged or infected tooth material and fills it with new material.
The best dentist offices could offer for a long time was a mercury-silver amalgam, but over the years, other materials like porcelain and resin have become more common.
Dental braces involve dentists and orthodontists. These medical devices help align teeth, which can correct bite issues and provide a nicer appearance.
While stereotypical braces are made of metal and go on the front of the tooth, other types of dental braces exist. Some use a different material to make the brace less obvious, while others go behind the teeth instead of in front. Ask the dentist or orthodontist what’s recommended for your situation.
When a tooth takes heavy damage or the root gets infected, dentists may perform a root canal instead of a filling. This involves hollowing out the tooth, replacing the root material with a filler, and building the tooth back up.
Follow-up treatment requires the placement of a crown, a type of fake tooth, using the previous tooth as a post.
Dental Treatments for Missing Teeth
If a tooth is too damaged to remain in your mouth or gets knocked out, dentists can treat them with dental implants or bridges. Both of these treatments provide an artificial tooth that prevents your other teeth from shifting and gives you a new chewing surface.
Bridges use other nearby teeth as their anchor, requiring some shaving of the teeth. Implants, meanwhile, install a post that serves as a root for a new tooth. Ask the dentist which choice will work best for you.
Choose a Healthy Smile
Regardless of which dental treatments you need, knowing more about them will help you make informed, healthy decisions. If you know a specific one might be in your future, consider doing some deeper reading.
Have other health and wellness worries? Try reading some articles from our health section for more information.