Cavities are one of the most common reasons that people seek dental treatment. These small holes develop on teeth surfaces due to acids in the mouth eating away at them. Bacteria in the mouth consume sugars and excrete these acids.The earliest stage of tooth decay can be reversed if a dentist detects it early on.…
Common Types of Procedures Performed by a General Dentist
A general dentist performs most of the treatments commonly used in dentistry. These oral professionals spend most of their time performing preventative treatments, like tooth cleanings, but they also perform more complex treatments, like root canals. A general dentist also serves as an educator, teaching patients how to properly take care of their teeth and gums.
Treatments that you can get from a general dentist
Here are popular treatments performed by general dentists, as well as their uses.
1. Teeth cleanings
Most people do not get their teeth cleaned often enough, but these treatments can go a long way when it comes to protecting teeth and gums against tooth decay and gum disease, respectively. During the procedure, the dentist uses a tool called a scaler to remove tartar and plaque from teeth surfaces. Plaque is the sticky film that builds up on teeth after meals and contains bacteria and acids that destroy teeth. It calcifies into tartar when left on teeth. Plaque can be removed by brushing, but tartar requires teeth cleaning. For patients who miss too many teeth cleanings, their teeth will become coated with tartar, making them more vulnerable to decay and gum disease.
2. Dental sealants
Dental sealants protect teeth that are hard to clean from tooth decay. The sealant is a varnish that is painted on teeth and forms a barrier that keeps away acids in the mouth. It is usually recommended for children who might have a hard time keeping their molars clean.
This treatment is used to close up cavities and other damage from tooth decay. The filling material is used to rebuild the decayed tooth, preventing the damage from spreading.
4. Composite bonding
This involves using mixtures of plastic and glass to rebuild and repair damaged teeth. The composite can be matched with the color of the patient’s teeth so repairs look natural. Composite bonding has emerged as a more popular type of filling.
5. Orthodontic treatment
General dentists often fit patients with orthodontic devices, like braces and clear aligners, that are used to straighten teeth.
Also called caps, crowns are recommended when a tooth has been too damaged to be repaired with filling or composite. The crown can save the tooth because it holds it together. It also protects the tooth from bacteria and other irritants in the mouth, and it restores the function of the damaged tooth, along with its appearance.
7. Root canal
A root canal is performed when the pulp chamber of a tooth has been opened up due to decay or damage to a tooth. It involves removing the soft tissues in the pulp chamber and sealing the tooth with gutta-percha.
General dentists also perform tooth extractions due to reasons like a tooth being too damaged to be saved, creating space on a person’s jaw, or removing a problematic wisdom tooth.
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