dental procedures

Most Common Dental Procedures And How They Work

Explore common dental procedures essential for oral health, from cleanings to implants and veneers. Learn how dentists restore, enhance, and maintain your smile.

Dental procedures are paramount to maintaining good oral health and addressing various dental issues.

Dentists perform these procedures to restore, enhance, or maintain the function and aesthetics of the teeth and gums.

Your dentist will look for any signs of abnormalities or suspicious lesions in the oral tissues. Your dentist or dental hygienist will guide you through proper oral hygiene practices.

They will exhibit effective brushing and flossing techniques, discuss the importance of a balanced diet for oral health, and offer strategies to stem common dental issues.

This education empowers you to care better for your teeth and gums between visits.

We will explore some of the most common dental procedures and how they work.

Common dental procedures

  1. Dental Cleanings (Prophylaxis)

Dental cleanings, or prophylaxis, are preventive procedures that help maintain oral health by removing plaque and tartar buildup from the teeth.

During a dental cleaning, a dental hygienist uses specialized instruments to remove plaque, which consists of bacteria, food particles, and saliva, from the tooth surfaces. Practitioners at Silverstone Family Dental say you should make appointments for dental cleaning sessions at least twice a year. 

Tartar, a hardened form of plaque, is also scraped off. The cleaning process is paramount in preventing cavities and gum disease.

It also includes polishing the teeth to remove surface stains, making them smoother and more resistant to plaque accumulation.

Dental cleanings typically occur every six months, but the frequency may vary depending on the patient’s oral health needs and risk factors.

  1. Dental Fillings (Restorations)

Dental fillings or restorations are typical procedures for teeth damaged by decay (cavities) or minor fractures.

The dentist initiates by yanking the decayed or damaged portion of the tooth and assembling a clean and healthy foundation.

Then, a filling material, such as composite resin, amalgam, or ceramic, is placed to restore the tooth’s structure and function.

The filling material is carefully shaped and polished to match the natural contour and color of the tooth.

Dental fillings are crucial for preventing the progression of decay and preserving the integrity of the affected tooth.

  1. Root Canal Therapy (Endodontic Treatment)

Root canal therapy, also comprehended as endodontic treatment, is performed to save a severely infected or damaged tooth.

This procedure becomes necessary when the dental pulp, which contains nerves and blood vessels, becomes infected due to deep cavities, trauma, or other factors.

During a root canal, the dentist removes the infected pulp, thoroughly cleans and disinfects the root canals, and then fills them with a biocompatible material.

Afterward, the tooth is typically restored with a crown to protect it and restore its function.

Root canal therapy aims to preserve the tooth and alleviate pain, making it a valuable alternative to tooth extraction.

  1. Dental Crowns (Caps)

Dental crowns, or caps, are used to restore and strengthen damaged or weakened teeth.

Crowns are custom-made restorations covering a tooth’s entire visible portion above the gumline.

They are typically used when a tooth has undergone extensive decay, fractures, or root canal treatment.

To place a dental crown, the dentist prepares the tooth by removing a portion of its outer structure.

Impressions are then taken to create a custom crown that fits perfectly over the tooth.

The crown is cemented, restoring the tooth’s shape, function, and appearance.

  1. Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are prosthetic devices that replace missing teeth by anchoring artificial teeth (pontics) to adjacent natural teeth or dental implants.

Bridges are a solution for restoring your smile’s aesthetics and functionality while preventing problems like shifting teeth and bite issues that can occur due to tooth loss.

The procedure involves preparing the adjacent teeth (abutments) for crowns, which will serve as anchors for the bridge.

Impressions are taken to create a custom bridge cemented onto the abutment teeth.

Dental bridges provide a stable and durable solution for tooth replacement.

  1. Tooth Extractions

Tooth extractions involve the removal of a tooth from its socket in the jawbone.

Extractions may be necessary for various reasons, such as severe decay, irreparable damage, crowding, or impacted wisdom teeth.

The dentist begins by numbing the area around the tooth to ensure a painless procedure.

Sometimes, the tooth must be sectioned into smaller pieces for easier removal.

After the extraction, patients are given instructions for post-operative care and, if necessary, options for tooth replacement.

  1. Dental Implants

Dental implants are a state-of-the-art solution for substituting missing teeth.

They consist of a titanium post that is surgically implanted into the jawbone, serving as a stable foundation for a dental crown, bridge, or denture.

The implant process typically implicates three phases: implant placement, osseointegration (the fusion of the implant with the jawbone), and the placement of the final restoration.

Dental implants propose several advantages, including improved stability, durability, and the preservation of surrounding teeth. You can learn more about it on Comprehensive Dental Care Boynton Beach FL website.

  1. Teeth Whitening (Bleaching)

Teeth whitening, also known as bleaching, is a cosmetic procedure designed to lighten the color of teeth and remove stains or discoloration.

It is a popular option for enhancing the aesthetics of one’s smile.

In-office teeth whitening procedures use a high-concentration bleaching gel and a special light or laser to activate the gel.

The process typically takes about an hour, and patients can see immediate results.

Take-home whitening kits are also available, allowing patients to whiten their teeth gradually at home.

  1. Dental Veneers

Dental veneers are thin shells, usually assembled of porcelain or composite resin, that are custom-fitted and bonded to the front surfaces of teeth.

Veneers enhance the impression of teeth with cosmetic imperfections, such as stains, chips, gaps, or misalignment.

The process implicates releasing a small amount of enamel from the front of the teeth to assemble space for the veneers.

Impressions are taken, and the veneers are crafted in a dental laboratory.

Once ready, the veneers are permanently bonded to the teeth, creating a more attractive and uniform smile.

  1. Periodontal Treatment (Scaling and Root Planing)

Periodontal treatment, including scaling and root planing, is essential for managing gum disease, also known as periodontal disease.

Gum disease can lead to gum recession, tooth loss, and systemic health issues if left untreated.

Scaling involves the removal of plaque and tartar buildup from above and below the gumline.

Root planing smooths the tooth roots to prevent bacteria from reattaching.

These procedures help to reduce inflammation, control infection, and promote gum healing.

Comprehending the most common dental procedures and how they operate is paramount for making knowledgeable decisions about oral health.

Dental care encompasses various treatments, from preventive cleanings to complex restorations and cosmetic enhancements.

Each procedure serves a unique purpose in maintaining, restoring, or enhancing the health and aesthetics of your teeth and gums.

Regular dental check-ups and consultations with your dentist can help determine.

Dentistry continues to evolve with advancements in technology and techniques, ensuring that patients receive the highest quality of care for their oral health needs.

Written by Lukas Weier
Fact Checked by Experts
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