Common dental procedures and what to expect
Dental procedures are common in maintaining good oral health. While some people may feel anxious about undergoing dental procedures, it's important to understand what to expect so you can be better prepared. Here is a look at some common dental procedures and what to expect:
Dental cleanings: Dental cleanings, also known as prophylaxis, are a routine part of maintaining good oral hygiene. During a dental cleaning, your dentist or dental hygienist will remove plaque and tartar from your teeth and gums. The procedure is usually painless and takes about 30-60 minutes. You may experience some sensitivity after the cleaning, but this should subside quickly.
Fillings: If you have a cavity, your dentist will fill it to restore the health of your tooth. During the filling procedure, your dentist will numb the area around the tooth to minimize any discomfort. Next, the dentist will remove the decayed portion of the tooth and fill the hole with a filling material, such as composite resin or amalgam. The filling procedure takes about 30 minutes to an hour.
Extractions: If a tooth is severely decayed or damaged, it may need to be extracted, or removed. The extraction process is usually performed by an oral surgeon or a dentist. Before the procedure, your mouth will be numbed to minimize any discomfort. The tooth will then be removed using special tools. The extraction process takes about 30 minutes to an hour.
Root canals: A root canal is a procedure that is performed to remove infected or damaged tissue from inside the tooth. During the root canal procedure, your dentist will numb the area around the tooth and make a small hole in the top of the tooth. The infected or damaged tissue will then be removed and the inside of the tooth will be cleaned and sealed. Root canals are typically performed by a dentist or an endodontist (a specialist in root canals). The procedure takes about one to two hours. After a root canal, you may experience some swelling and discomfort, but this can be managed with pain medication.
Crowns: A crown, also known as a cap, is a type of dental restoration that covers the entire surface of a tooth. Crowns are often used to restore a tooth that is damaged or decayed. During the crown procedure, your dentist will numb the area around the tooth and prepare the tooth by removing any decay or damage. An impression of the tooth will then be taken and sent to a laboratory, where the crown will be made. In the meantime, a temporary crown will be placed on the tooth. When the permanent crown is ready, you will return to the dentist to have it fitted and cemented in place. The crown procedure takes two visits to the dentist, and the entire process can take several weeks.
Bridges: A bridge is a type of dental restoration that is used to fill the gap created by one or more missing teeth. Bridges are typically made of porcelain or gold and are anchored to surrounding teeth to hold them in place. During the bridge procedure, your dentist will numb the area around the teeth and prepare the surrounding teeth by removing any decay or damage. An impression of the teeth will then be taken and sent to a laboratory, where the bridge will be made. In the meantime, a temporary bridge will be placed. When the permanent bridge is ready, you will return to the dentist to have it fitted and cemented in place. The bridge procedure takes two visits to the dentist, and the entire process can take several weeks.
In conclusion, dental procedures are common in maintaining good oral health. Understanding what to expect can help you feel more prepared and less anxious about the process. Be sure to discuss any concerns or questions you have with your dental professional.