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Understanding Dental Procedures: A Guide for Patients

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Dental procedures can be intimidating for patients, especially if they are not familiar with what to expect. Understanding the different types of procedures and what they involve can help alleviate some of the anxiety and stress that come with a visit to the dentist.

One common dental procedure is a filling. A filling is used to repair a tooth that has been damaged by decay. The dentist will remove the decayed portion of the tooth and then fill the area with a special material, such as amalgam or composite resin. Fillings are used to restore the function and integrity of the tooth, and can help prevent further decay. Other common procedures include cleanings, crowns, and root canals. It is important to discuss your treatment options with your dentist in order to determine the best course of action for your individual needs.

 In this article, we will provide an overview of common dental procedures and what you can expect during your visit.

  1. Cleanings and check-ups

One of the most common dental procedures is a cleaning and check-up. This is a routine visit to the dentist that typically occurs every six months. During this visit, your dentist or dental hygienist will clean your teeth and check for any issues, such as cavities or gum disease.

During a cleaning, your dental professional will use special tools to remove plaque and tartar, which are hardened deposits of bacteria that can cause tooth decay and gum disease. They will also floss and polish your teeth to remove any remaining plaque and to give your teeth a smooth finish.

After the cleaning, your dentist will examine your teeth and gums to check for any issues. They may use a small mirror to get a closer look at your teeth and use a tool to check for any cavities. They will also check for signs of gum disease, such as redness, swelling, or bleeding.

2. Fillings

If your dentist finds a cavity during a check-up, they will recommend a filling to repair the damage. A filling is a common and relatively simple procedure that involves removing the decayed portion of the tooth and filling the space with a special material, such as composite resin or amalgam.

There are several types of fillings to choose from, including composite resin fillings, which can be matched to the color of your teeth, and amalgam fillings, which are made of a mixture of metals and are more durable. Your dentist will discuss the different options with you and help you choose the best one for your needs.

During the filling procedure, your dentist will numb the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic to ensure that you don’t feel any pain. They will then remove the decay using a drill or laser. Once the decay has been removed, they will fill the cavity with the chosen material and shape it to fit the tooth. Finally, they will harden the filling with a special light and polish it to blend in with the rest of your teeth.

3. Crowns

A crown, also known as a cap, is a type of dental restoration that covers the entire surface of a tooth. Crowns are used to strengthen and protect a tooth that has been damaged or is at risk of breaking. They can also be used to improve the appearance of a tooth that is severely discolored or misshapen.

There are several types of crowns to choose from, including porcelain, ceramic, and metal. Your dentist will discuss the different options with you and help you choose the best one for your needs.

The crown procedure typically takes two visits to complete. During the first visit, your dentist will numb the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic and prepare the tooth by removing any decay and shaping it to fit the crown. They will then take an impression of the tooth and send it to a laboratory to create the crown. In the meantime, they will place a temporary crown to protect the tooth.

During the second visit, your dentist will remove the temporary crown and replace it with the permanent one. They will adjust the fit and bite of the crown as needed and cement it in place.

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