Thinking about dental procedures can often be confusing and intimidating. There are many myths and phobias regarding visits to the dentist and thinking of them can give butterflies to people of all ages. By taking the time to learn about the most common dental procedures, you can help alleviate your fears and know what to expect the next time you go in for a visit.
Fillings & Repairs
Fillings are one of the most common procedures during a trip to the dentist. The procedure begins by identifying the level of tooth decay or trauma you have. Gauging the corrosion is done a few different ways. Tooth trauma can be caused by worn down or cracked teeth.
Repairing and filling your teeth can be done using a silver metal or white composite material to even out surfaces and fill holes. Talk to your doctor to figure out what solution is the best fit for you.
The complete removal of a tooth is called extraction and often happens when a tooth is completely damaged or decayed. Extraction may also be necessary if you have a tooth blocking the growth of another or you need to create room in your mouth. Getting your wisdom teeth removed also falls under the category of tooth extraction.
A tooth extraction entails complete removal of your tooth from the socket of the bone. This is done in two ways: simply or surgically. Simple extraction will happen when the tooth is visible outside of the gum and can be removed by loosening and pulling it out. A surgical extraction is when a tooth is either broken off or has not broken through the gum. Both require anesthesia, but an oral surgeon will often do a surgical extraction.
Root canal is the removal of the tooth’s pulp when it has become inflamed or infected. Once removed, the space is cleaned out and filled. Infection of the pulp can stem from deep decay, cracks in the tooth, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, and faulty crowns.
Failure to treat an infected tooth can result in a buildup of pus which forms an abscess, which can be very painful and deteriorate the bone around the tooth.
A crown is used when a tooth is very decayed or has a chip in it and is placed over an existing tooth. These dental crowns (also called caps) are made from metal, porcelain, or a combination of materials.
The procedure for inserting a crown on the tooth begins with your dentist numbing the tissue surrounding the tooth with a local anesthetic. Once numb, the tooth that’s receiving the crown will be filed down. Your dentist will then create a mold specific to your tooth and send it to a lab for manufacturing. A temporary crown is placed on your tooth in the meantime. On the second visit, the temporary crown will be removed, and the permanent one will replace it.
Bridges & Implants
Bridges and implants are two ways of replacing a missing tooth or teeth. A bridge (also called a fixed removable denture) is a false tooth that attaches to the surrounding teeth using crowns.
An implant acts as a more natural tooth and includes a crown and root. An implant has metal posts or frames that go into the socket of the bone where the missing tooth is. As the jaw heals, the implant is anchored into the bone, making it feel and act like your natural tooth.
With all of this knowledge, you can now confidently take on your next dentist visit with no fear. For more serious oral complications, both medical and cosmetic, seek the help of a reputable oral surgeon. Dr. Nancy Herbst of Union City Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery has over 25 years of experience practicing oral surgery. To learn more about the different procedures or to schedule an appointment, contact us online or call (201) 601-9262.