9 Common Dental Procedures Explained
If you’re not a professionally trained dentist yourself, the terminology used in dental clinics can be extremely difficult to understand. There are many different dental procedures that your dentist may recommend to you over the years, so it is good to have a broad awareness of what each treatment is and what exactly it involves.
Below are explanations of nine common dental procedures and dental treatments that you may not fully understand, as clarified by our very own Dr John at Rivercity Dental.
1. Dental examinations
A dental examination should be performed every time you visit your local dentist for your biannual check-up. This examination involves your dentist inspecting your teeth, tongue and gums and discussing your oral care. You don’t need to worry – an examination shouldn’t be painful, and the best dentists will ensure that you are comfortable throughout the entire experience.
2. Tooth fillings
An experienced dental specialist might recommend that you get a filling if you have a damaged or decayed tooth. The idea is that a filling will fill the cavity and reduce any tooth sensitivity or pain you may be experiencing. The process of getting a filling involves the dentist placing a material (usually porcelain or composite) into the area of the tooth that is decayed. This ultimately restores its original shape and function. Tooth fillings are relatively common and can be known to last anywhere between 5 to 15 years, depending on the materials used.
3. Root canal treatment (endodontics)
A root canal is a procedure completed to repair and save a tooth that has been badly infected. Without having a root canal completed, infection in the tooth may worsen and abscesses may form. This can result in extreme pain and the tooth may need to be removed. During the root canal procedure, nerve and pulp are removed and the interior of the tooth is cleaned and disinfected. The space inside the tooth is then filled and sealed. Your dentist will usually then place a crown on the tooth to protect it and ensure it can retain its original function.
4. Gum disease treatment (periodontics)
Gum disease occurs when there is significant inflammation of the gums and supporting bone that surrounds your teeth caused by the presence of harmful bacteria contained in plaque in your mouth. Symptoms of gum disease can include bleeding when brushing or flossing, sore gums, loose teeth and gums receding away from the teeth. Your dentist is likely to treat gum disease with a thorough hygiene treatment and advice on how to clean your teeth and gums effectively. Left untreated, serious types of gum disease may require more extensive treatment and medication. It is best to chat with your local dental surgery to find out what is necessary in your particular circumstances.
5. Wisdom teeth extraction
Wisdom teeth removal may be necessary if your third molars are causing you pain or contributing to crowding of your teeth. Your dentist will be able to advise whether or not you need your wisdom teeth removed after you have had oral x-rays taken. The procedure to remove wisdom teeth may vary in length, depending on how many teeth need to be removed and how difficult they are to remove. To extract wisdom teeth, your dentist will determine the most appropriate treatment options. This may involve removal of the teeth under local anaesthetic or twilight sedation. In some cases, it may be necessary for a referral to have the teeth removed via day surgery in a hospital.
6. Fissure seals
Dental fissure sealants are used to protect the tooth and reduce the risk of dental decay by covering the tooth surface with a protective layer. Fissure seals are most commonly applied to molar teeth because they are most susceptible to tooth decay. Applying sealants is relatively quick and painless when done by a dental professional in West Brisbane.
Dental bridges are designed to bridge the gap over a missing tooth. Essentially, a bridge consists of two crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap, with a false tooth anchoring the bridge in between. Dental bridges are often considered to be a cosmetic dental treatment, but many of the best Brisbane dental clinics will offer the procedure.
8. Gum lifts
A gum lift, sometimes known as a gingivectomy, is a cosmetic dental procedure that trims your gumline and highlights your teeth. It improves the aesthetics of your smile and positions your gum line in the best possible position to show your pearly white teeth. Gum contouring surgery is often done with a scalpel or laser while you are under a local anaesthetic. This procedure must be conducted by a qualified cosmetic dentist.
9. Dental implant procedures
Dental implants are titanium roots that are implanted into your jawbone beneath your gums. They act as a metal post or frame that a replacement tooth can then be mounted onto. This provides a solid foundation and ensures the tooth will remain stable for a long time.
At River City Dental, we operate with an extremely experienced dentist in Indooroopilly who have completed years of study, as well as years of clinical practice. If you have any questions about what is involved in any dental procedure, we would be happy to answer your queries.