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Common Dental Procedures

Common Dental Procedures

Many people are aware of the importance of seeing a dentist, but some don’t realize the importance of scheduled, routine dental care and treatments. By adhering to a treatment routine, usually done twice yearly, you may be able to avoid costly and extensive repairs and restoration work. Many dental problems are preventable. Many dental treatments when done as soon as problems arise can save a tooth or gums.

Prophylaxis or teeth cleaning: The purpose of cleaning your teeth and gums, removing harmful tartar on the teeth and below the gum line to prevent periodontal disease or gum disease. In the areas of special attention you may be given after care instructions as to how to brush better and to floss regularly. This procedure is usually done twice yearly.

X-rays: These are done to show dental decay or impacted teeth. An x-ray gives insight to bone loss or teeth affected by gum disease. By viewing your dental x-rays your dentist can perform treatment in advance of more extensive repair if left untreated. Most general x-rays are done yearly.

Dental fillings: removing the decay in a tooth and refilling the tooth with either silver amalgam or a composite resin can stop the decay stopped and a tooth restored.

Fluoride treatments: Most city water has fluoride in it, a substance shown to drastically cut the onset of tooth decay by keeping teeth strong. When not available, many children as well as adults benefit greatly from topical fluoride treatments. These treatments can be done at home or if necessary in the dental office if more extensive treatment is needed.

Sealants: Children have difficulty brushing their back molars, with a material applied to the surface of these teeth, the area is smoother and brushing more beneficial.

Extractions: The complete removal of the affected tooth. There are several reasons that an extraction may become necessary. An abscess, gum disease, an impacted tooth or even a broken tooth can cause the need for an extraction. Newer pain control and anesthesia make this procedure more comfortable.

Crowns: This is a cap that fits over the tooth protecting it from further decay or damage. A crown is used in a tooth that has had major repair due to large decay, or a broken or cracked tooth. The cap “holds” the tooth in place, giving it strength and protection. Root Canal: At times a tooth’s nerve becomes infected and at this point needs removed. There are many new techniques available, making this procedure more advanced and with little or no discomfort.

Bridges: In the case of a missing tooth or teeth, an appliance called a bridge replaces the missing teeth by using the surrounding healthy teeth as anchors.

Dentures: Unlike a bridge, these appliances are able to be removed and replace many if not all teeth.

Gum surgery: There are times when gum surgery treatment is needed in the advanced cases of gum disease. There is new technology available and newer anesthesia used making the surgery itself less painful and the recovery times faster.

These are some of the most common dental procedures; there are many more available. Contact you dentist with questions or concerns. Dental practices have many highly trained individuals on staff to help answer you. By educating yourself and communicating with your dentist and staff, you will have a greater understanding of how to better care for your teeth.

Some of the biggest concerns when visiting a dentist are pain control. There are many new advances in this area and newer technology in instruments used. There are new instruments in use that make the sound of a drill a thing of the past. There is now the “painless needle” making the administering of numbing virtually painless. Discuss with your dentist if you have concerns. Your dentist and staff are concerned that you are at ease and will work with you making certain that all is done to accomplish a positive treatment experience. By having a better more comfortable dental visit, you will feel more able to continue with all the preventative treatments offered to you.

Lifelong dental care is a gift you give to yourself and your family. Healthy teeth not only reward a beautiful smile, but enhance all of your health. Prevention is necessary in continued good dental health. By visiting your dentist as scheduled, you will increase your chances of keeping healthy your teeth and gums.

When visiting your dentist make sure to ask what other precautions you can take in your dental care. Your dentist can assist you in diet choices, answer questions concerning medications that may affect your teeth and assist you in health concerns that relate to the future health of your teeth and gums. There are many changes that occur over a person’s lifetime that affect their teeth. Your dentist and staff are educated in these areas and will direct you in treatment options.

The most important thing you can do for your dental care is to visit your dentist regularly. With the new advances in dental care, better-informed staff, and better-informed patients, a lifelong smile is possible and appreciated by all.

Copyright 2006 Joe Dively

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