The Different Types of Dental Procedures: A Comprehensive Guide

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Dental procedures are essential for maintaining good oral health and hygiene. From regular cleanings to more complex procedures like root canals, these treatments help prevent tooth decay and gum disease, as well as restore damaged teeth. If you are experiencing a dental emergency in Scottsdale, Arizona, it is important to contact Emergency Sentist Scottsdale as soon as possible to receive prompt and professional care.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the different types of dental procedures available, including their purposes, how they’re performed, and what to expect during recovery.

  1. Dental Cleanings (Prophylaxis)

Dental cleanings, also known as prophylaxis, are a common type of preventive procedure that involves removing plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) from the teeth. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth, and if not removed regularly, it can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Tartar, on the other hand, is plaque that has hardened and can only be removed by a dental professional.

During a dental cleaning, the dental hygienist will use special instruments to scrape away plaque and tartar from the teeth and gum line. They may also use an ultrasonic scaler, which generates vibrations to loosen and remove plaque and tartar. After the cleaning, the hygienist will polish the teeth with a gritty toothpaste to remove any remaining plaque and give the teeth a smooth, shiny finish.

Dental cleanings are usually recommended every six months to prevent the build-up of plaque and tartar. However, some people may need more frequent cleanings depending on their oral health needs.

2. Fillings

Fillings are a common dental procedure used to repair teeth that have been damaged by decay. The procedure involves removing the decayed tissue from the tooth and filling the space with a material such as amalgam (a mixture of metals), composite resin (a plastic-like material), or gold.

The type of filling material used will depend on the location of the filling, the size of the cavity, and the patient’s preferences. Amalgam fillings are strong and durable but may be noticeable in the mouth. Composite resin fillings can be color-matched to the patient’s teeth and are less noticeable, but they may not be as durable as amalgam fillings. Gold fillings are also a good option for large cavities and are known for their longevity, but they are more expensive than other types of fillings.

The filling procedure is typically performed in one visit and is relatively quick and straightforward. The dentist will numb the area around the tooth to be filled and then remove the decayed tissue using a drill or other instrument. They will then clean the cavity and fill it with the chosen material. Once the filling is in place, the dentist will shape and polish it to match the contours of the tooth.

3. Crowns

A crown is a cap-like restoration that is placed over a damaged tooth to protect it and restore its function. Crowns can be made of a variety of materials, including porcelain, ceramic, gold, and metal alloys.

Crowns are typically recommended for teeth that are too damaged to be repaired with fillings or other types of restorations. They can be used to cover teeth that have been fractured, have large cavities, or have had root canals. Crowns can also be used to support a dental bridge or to cover a dental implant.

The crown procedure typically requires two visits to the dentist. During the first visit, the dentist will prepare the tooth by removing any decayed tissue and shaping the remaining structure to fit the crown. They will then take an impression of the prepared tooth and the surrounding teeth, which will be used to create a custom crown.

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