Dental procedures are a necessary part of maintaining good oral health and can range from simple cleanings to more complex surgeries. Here are some common types of dental procedures and when they may be necessary:
Dental Cleanings (Prophylaxis)
Dental cleanings, also known as prophylaxis, are a routine part of maintaining good oral health. They involve removing plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) from the teeth and gums. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth, and if not removed, can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. Tartar is a harder substance that forms when plaque hardens and sticks to the teeth. It can only be removed by a dental professional.
Dental cleanings are usually recommended once every six months, but this can vary depending on an individual’s oral health and risk of developing gum disease. People with diabetes, pregnant women, and those with a history of gum disease may need more frequent cleanings.
Fillings are used to repair teeth that have been damaged by decay. The decayed portion of the tooth is removed and replaced with a filling material, such as composite resin or amalgam (a mixture of metals). Fillings are typically made of materials that are durable and long-lasting.
Fillings may be necessary if you have a cavity, which is a hole in the tooth caused by tooth decay. Cavities can be caused by a lack of proper oral hygiene or a diet high in sugary foods and drinks.
A crown, also known as a cap, is a dental restoration that covers the entire surface of a tooth. It is used to restore a tooth that has been damaged or is too weak to support a filling. Crowns can be made of a variety of materials, including porcelain, ceramic, and metal.
Crowns may be necessary if you have a tooth that is significantly damaged or decayed and cannot be restored with a filling. They may also be used to support a tooth that has had a root canal procedure or to cover a dental implant.
A dental bridge is a fixed dental restoration that is used to replace one or more missing teeth. It consists of one or more artificial teeth (called pontics) that are held in place by crowns on either side (called abutments). The crowns are placed over the natural teeth adjacent to the missing tooth or teeth, and the pontics are attached to the crowns to fill the gap left by the missing tooth or teeth.
Bridges may be necessary if you are missing one or more teeth and want to restore your ability to chew and speak properly. They may also be used to help maintain the shape of your face and prevent your remaining teeth from drifting out of position.
A root canal is a dental procedure that is used to treat an infected or damaged tooth. It involves removing the infected or damaged tissue (called the pulp) from inside the tooth and then cleaning and sealing the inside of the tooth. The pulp is a soft tissue located in the center of the tooth that contains nerves and blood vessels.
Root canals may be necessary if you have a tooth that is infected or damaged and cannot be repaired with a filling. They may also be used to save a tooth that has had a large filling or is otherwise severely damaged.
An extraction is a dental procedure that involves removing a tooth from the mouth. Extractions may be necessary if a tooth is severely damaged or infected and cannot be restored, or if a tooth is causing crowding or other issues in the mouth. Extractions may also be necessary if a person has wisdom teeth that are causing problems, such as pain or infection.
A dental implant is a surgical procedure that involves placing a small metal post into the jawbone to replace a missing tooth. The post serves as the root of the artificial tooth, and a crown is attached to the top of the post to replace the visible portion of the tooth. Dental implants are a permanent solution for missing teeth and can be used to replace a single tooth or multiple teeth.
Dental implants may be necessary if you are missing one or more teeth and want to restore your ability to chew and speak properly. They may also be used to improve the appearance of your smile and to help maintain the shape of your face.
Orthodontic procedures involve the use of braces or other appliances to straighten teeth and correct misalignment. Orthodontic treatment may be necessary if you have misaligned teeth, an overbite or underbite, or other issues with the alignment of your teeth and jaw. Orthodontic treatment can help improve the appearance of your smile and the function of your teeth, and can also help prevent future dental problems.
Periodontal (Gum) Treatment
Periodontal treatment is a type of dental procedure that is used to treat gum disease. Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that surround and support the teeth, and can be caused by a buildup of plaque and tartar. Periodontal treatment may involve scaling and root planing (deep cleaning of the teeth and roots), surgery to remove infected tissue, or the use of medications to kill bacteria and reduce inflammation.
Periodontal treatment may be necessary if you have gum disease or if you are at high risk of developing gum disease. It is important to treat gum disease as early as possible, as it can lead to tooth loss and other serious health problems if left untreated.
Oral surgery is a type of dental procedure that involves surgery on the mouth, teeth, or jaw. Oral surgery may be necessary if you have a cyst or tumor in the mouth, if you need to have teeth extracted, or if you need to have jaw or facial surgery. Oral surgery can be performed by an oral surgeon or a general dentist with specialized training in oral surgery.
In conclusion, dental procedures are an important part of maintaining good oral health. They can range from simple cleanings to more complex surgeries, and can be used to treat a variety of dental problems. It is important to consult with a dental professional to determine which procedures may be necessary to maintain or improve your oral health.
Source: American Dental Association (ADA). (2020). Dental Procedures. Retrieved from https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/d/dental-procedures