Modern techniques used in oral health and dental treatments are almost always painless. This has made a visit to the dentist an easier and more comfortable pursuit since it is recommended that everyone at any age should visit a dentist once every six months.
Learn the most common dental treatments that you may encounter on your regular visits to your dentist. They may sound like a different language but this list will help you be familiar with the terms frequently used by dentists and non-dentists when talking about them.
Amalgam Restoration (Silver Filling)
Fillings are used to repair holes in the teeth caused by tooth decay. Dental amalgam is made from a combination of metals and has been used by dentists for more than 100 years. The dentist may have to remove more tooth structure to place an amalgam filling. Your dentist may also offer a different type of filling according to your clinical needs.
Crowns or caps are made from either metal, porcelain, or both—fixed in your mouth to make your tooth look better. It is made to completely cover your real tooth that has been broken, decayed, or been damaged.
Endodontics (Root Canals)
This dental treatment tackles infection at the center of the tooth or in the root canal system. The dentist removes the infection from inside the root canal system and then fills the root canal with a rubber-like material to seal them against future infection. The last part will be sealing the tooth with a filling or crown.
Abnormalities in jaw and tooth position like crowding or an overbite or protruding teeth can be corrected by an orthodontist specialist. Corrective treatment may include the use of braces or a removable device and subsequently a retainer appliance to maintain correct tooth positions.
Scaling and Root Planing (Deep Cleaning)
Scaling and root planing involves the removal of built-up debris from your teeth like food particles, soft plaque (bacterial growth), or hard calculus caused by the continual accumulation of plaque and minerals from saliva.
Dentists will clean and polish your teeth using special tools such as a rotating brush with a polishing paste that helps treat and prevent gum disease.
Extraction (Tooth Removal)
If you have a severely damaged or badly decayed tooth that cannot be restored, it may need to be extracted. Some permanent teeth may also need to be removed for orthodontic treatment.
A local anesthetic is applied before having a tooth removed. General anesthesia may also be given if the procedure is difficult.
Partial Denture (Removable Bridge)
Dentures are custom-made teeth made from metal or plastic. They are made by using impressions or moldings from your gums and are removable so you can clean them or soak them in a cleaning solution.
This dental treatment is important to make sure you can still chew your food properly, improving your diet, and preventing your facial muscles to sag.
Prophylaxis (Teeth Cleaning)
Prophylaxis is the cleaning of the teeth for the prevention of periodontal disease and tooth decay. It involves polishing the teeth and removing the deposits that build up on teeth and gums to control bacteria. It is typically performed every six months to maintain healthy gums and teeth.
Dental X-rays are used as a diagnostic tool used by dentists to detect the extent of the damage and disease of teeth that are not visible during a regular dental exam. You will know the present status of your oral health and have a baseline to help you and your dentist determine the best dental procedure for you.
Your teeth naturally darken with age or they may be stained by various foods and beverages like tea and coffee or by smoking. Teeth whitening is a dental treatment that involves a simple process. Whitening products usually contain one of two bleaches (hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide) that break stains into smaller pieces making your teeth bright.
Taking Care of Your Teeth Through Dental Treatments
A healthy mouth is so much more than a dazzling smile. You may have dental problems lurking in places you cannot see like inside your teeth or along your gum line. Seeing your dentist will help you prevent oral issues from escalating. They will be able to give you professional dental treatments that will make it easier for you to take care of your teeth in the way you need it.