Here’s a quick overview of some of the most common dental procedures performed by general dentists everywhere.
Dental cleanings get rid of the hard tartar buildup that can’t be removed by brushing alone. All that tartar buildup is home to cavity-causing bacteria, and getting it professionally removed every six months makes it hard for that nasty bacteria to hang around!
Cavities happen, even to the best of us, and they need to be removed and replaced with a filling before they have a chance to grow and spread. After making the area around the tooth numb, your dentist will use a tiny drill to remove the decay. A filling will then be put into the hole where the cavity used to be. Fillings can be made of plastic, porcelain, or different types of metal. Read more about fillings here.
A dental crown is a special cap for a tooth that has been broken or has lost its shape due to decay over a large area. Crowns are also placed over teeth after root canals. Crowns help restore the shape of the tooth, so that it can be used for chewing again. Read more about dental crowns here.
If tooth decay reaches the soft pulp deep inside the tooth, it can cause a painful infection. A root canal removes the infected pulp all the way down to the root, leaving the inside of the tooth hollow. A man-made material is used to fill the inside of a tooth, and then a dental crown is put in place as the last step.
If a tooth cannot be saved by other means, the last option is to extract it, or remove it permanently. After numbing the area, the dentist will use forceps to slowly loosen the tooth until it pulls free. Wisdom teeth removal is also a form of extraction, but if the teeth are still under the gum, surgical extraction is necessary.
Regular dental visits help keep our pearly whites sparkling and cavity-free. If you haven’t seen the dentist in the last six months, now is the time to pick up that phone and make an appointment today!