Common Dental Procedures
Dentists perform a great many procedures, but some of the most common are cleaning, filling cavities and whitening. The dentist may help prevent cavities by giving you a fluoride treatment, and if you are having a problem may take X-Rays and photos to help diagnose the issue. If your tooth is weak, a crown may be suggested, and missing teeth may be replaced by an implant, bridge or denture.
3 AnswersAs long as dental sealants remain intact, they can protect the chewing surfaces from decay in children and adults. Sealants are durable and can stand up to daily chewing forces for months or even years. Of course, everyone is different, and the protective coating may wear down at different rates in different people. Seeing your dentist on a regular basis is the best way to ensure that your sealants are in good condition. Sealants are valuable in protecting the chewing surfaces of molars, but regular brushing is needed to prevent tooth decay.
1 AnswerCustom-made restorations, which require two or more visits, can be a crown, an inlay or an onlay. A crown covers the entire chewing surface and sides of the tooth. An inlay is smaller and fits within the contours of the tooth.
An onlay is similar to an inlay, but it is larger and covers some or all chewing surfaces of the tooth. The cost of indirect restorations is generally higher due to the number and length of visits required, and the additional cost of having the restoration made in a dental laboratory. Materials used to fabricate these restorations are porcelain (ceramic), porcelain fused to a metal-supporting structure, gold alloys and base metal alloys.
2 AnswersA type of dental restoration is porcelain-fused-to-metal, which provides strength to a crown or bridge. These restorations are very strong and durable.
The combination of porcelain bonded to a supporting structure of metal creates a stronger restoration than porcelain used alone. More of the existing tooth must be removed to accommodate the restoration. Although they are highly resistant to wear, porcelain restorations can wear opposing natural teeth if the porcelain becomes rough. There may be some initial discomfort to hot and cold. While porcelain-fused-to-metal restorations are highly biocompatible, some patients may show an allergic sensitivity to some types of metals used in the restoration.
1 AnswerGold alloys contain gold, copper and other metals that result in a strong, effective filling, crown or a bridge. They are primarily used for inlays, onlays, crowns and fixed bridges. They are highly resistant to corrosion and tarnishing.
Gold alloys exhibit high strength and toughness that resists fracture and wear. This allows the dentist to remove the least amount of healthy tooth structure when preparing the tooth for the restoration. Gold alloys are also gentle to opposing teeth and are well tolerated by patients.
1 AnswerThe American Dental Association (ADA) urges you to take an active role in your oral health care. This includes knowing your health status and telling your dentist about any illnesses or health conditions, whether you are taking any medications (prescription or non-prescription), and whether you've ever had any problems such as allergic reactions to any medications. It also includes understanding the risks and benefits involved in dental treatment, so that you and your dentist can make the best decisions about the treatment that is right for you.
2 AnswersIn dental procedures, topical anesthetics are applied to mouth tissues with a swab to prevent pain on the surface level. Your dentist may use a topical anesthetic to numb an area in preparation for administering an injectable local anesthetic. Topical anesthetics also may be used to soothe painful mouth sores.
Injectable local anesthetics prevent pain in a specific area of your mouth during treatment by blocking the nerves that sense or transmit pain and numbing mouth tissues. They cause the temporary numbness often referred to as a "fat lip" feeling. Injectable anesthetics may be used in such procedures as filling cavities, preparing teeth for crowns or treating periodontal (gum) disease.
1 AnswerMaterials used in dental restorations have varying degrees of durability:
- All-porcelain (ceramic): Brittle material, may fracture under heavy biting loads. Strength depends greatly on quality of bond to underlying tooth structure.
- Porcelain fused to metal: Very strong and durable.
- Gold alloys (high noble) and base metal alloys (non-noble): High corrosion resistance prevents tarnishing; high strength and toughness resist fracture and wear.
1 AnswerThe following materials are used in indirect dental restorations:
- All-porcelain (ceramic): Porcelain, ceramic or glass-like fillings and crowns.
- Porcelain fused to metal: Porcelain is fused to an underlying metal structure to provide strength to a filling, crown or bridge.
- Gold alloys (high noble): Alloy of gold, copper and other metals resulting in a strong, effective filling, crown or bridge.
- Base metal alloys (non-noble): Alloys of non-noble metals with silver appearance resulting in high strength crowns and bridges.
1 AnswerIf you or a family member are at a moderate-to-high risk of developing tooth decay, a professional fluoride treatment can help. The fluoride preparation used in the dental office is a much stronger concentration than that in toothpastes or fluoride mouthrinses that may be available in a store or at a pharmacy.
Professional fluoride treatments generally take just a few minutes. The fluoride may be in the form of a solution, gel, foam or varnish. Typically, it is applied with a cotton swab or brush, or it is used as a rinse or placed in a tray that is held in the mouth for several minutes.