Some people feel intimidated by the thought of seeing a dentist leading them to neglect their oral hygiene. Doing so can cause dental problems like gum diseases, bad breath, cavities, sensitivity and even teeth loss. But if you follow through with your regular dental check up, these issues are ultimately preventable.
Recent research published by the Journal of Periodontology establishes that a healthy diet, regular exercise and daily oral care will significantly reduce your risk of developing gum and tooth-related problems. This means you need to stay away from sugary foods and beverages as they can put you at risk of cavities.
Whether it is for a lengthy procedure or you are simply trying to catch up with your oral health, there are many common procedures your dentist will most likely offer. If it is your first time seeing one such professional after many years, here are the common dental procedures that your dentist will be happy to offer you.
Thorough Dental Exam
If it is your first time seeing this particular family dentist, he or she will most likely perform a comprehensive dental exam, which includes conducting and X-ray. In other words he will inspect your entire oral cavity, teeth and go over any issues that you are experiencing. This way he will create initial records for you that can be used in the future for reference.
Radiograph or X-ray is also part of a regular dental exam. This is usually done when the dentist sees a potential problem in your teeth, so that he can see your bones and teeth in details, within the gum.
The most common radiographic procedure is Bitewing Radiograph. It is primarily used to detect infection, gum disease, tooth decay and bone loss.
Panoramic radiograph on the other hand is offered to patients with impacted teeth, suspected tumors, bone abnormalities and more. It offers a broader view of your teeth and allows the dentist to decide on the course of action if there is indeed a problem detected.
After examining your teeth, a general dentist will often assess if there are any quick fixes he or she can work on right away. For example, if your dentist observes a long-term decay, a crown or a cap can be placed.
Other examples of common restorative treatments are dentures and crowns. If you wish to have these procedures done for you later on, you can just set up an appointment with the clinic’s assistant on your preferred date.
Tooth extractions is a procedure wherein the dentist removes your tooth from its socket in your jawbone. This is usually the last option dentists take if other restorative procedures are no longer possible, because your tooth has been severely damaged and beyond repair.
Dental Prophylaxis or Cleaning
If you have not visited a dentist for a while, dental prophylaxis, or also commonly called as teeth cleaning is one of the typical procedures you should have.
This is usually scheduled every six months and can be performed by a licensed dental hygienist. What your dentist does in this procedure is he removes the calculus build-up (also known as plaque) by the “scaling” method. He polishes your teeth using a dental cleaning equipment and a cleaning paste that often comes in different flavors.
A dental crown is a teeth restoration procedure that seals and protects cracked, broken or damaged teeth. This method is also commonly called as caps and is offered to patients who need to fix their chipped or cracked teeth.
Dental crowns are usually made out of porcelain, metal of a combination of both.
Teeth whitening is a popular procedure that helps eliminate stains on your teeth. Your dentist will utilize a peroxide-base formula to improve your teeth appearance and alleviate any discoloration. This is one of the most common cosmetic dental procedure today.
There are many factors why discoloration of teeth happens. Apart from age, eating various foods that contain coloring or food pigments are causes of stained or yellow teeth. Coffee, tea, berries and smoking are just some of the common reasons why patients need to get their teeth whitened.
People who used to do recreational drugs damage and discolor their teeth as well and one method for giving them back their pearly white smile is by teeth whitening.
Endodontics (Root Canal)
Commonly known as root canal, endodontics is the removal of the tooth pulp – a tiny thread-like tissue found at the center of the tooth. This procedure is done to stop the pain from coming back without the need of extracing the tooth.
Once the dead pulp is removed, the tooth is salvaged and the inside space within the tooth is cleaned, shaped and filled.
Now that we have covered eight of the most common procedures offered by your dentist, you can expect that these will most likely be offered to you on your visit. But if you have not been keeping up with maintaining a dental hygiene habits, you will most likely have to undergo multiple procedures to restore your oral health.
Aside from the procedures above, there are still other restorative and cosmetic treatments available. These treatments will depend on the range of services offered by your dentist and the state of your oral health. If you need to see a specialist, you can always go back to your general dentist and get a referral from them.