If you’re wondering what a dentist does, take a look at this list of the most popular dental treatments. From cavity fillings to cosmetic procedures, many treatments are performed every day. Dental treatments can be preventative or used to treat a specific problem. They can also be used to restore oral health after you experience symptoms or go through invasive treatments.
These are treatments that a dentist will provide to prevent problems from occurring. There is a wide range of preventative treatments available and they all serve an important purpose: protecting your oral health.
Any athlete in a contact sport is familiar with the importance of a mouthguard. These are plastic devices that are made to precisely fit your mouth. They protect your teeth, jaw, and soft tissue like your tongue and cheeks. You can purchase one from your dentist or a sports equipment supplier.
Depending on your mouth, you may need a custom-fit mouthguard to make sure you are fully protected. When you get tackled or a wayward elbow comes your way, you’ll be glad to have your mouthguard in place.
Night Mouth Guards
Night mouthguards are similar to sport mouthguards but are made for use overnight. These protect your teeth from wearing as a result of tooth grinding. Many people grind their teeth in their sleep, usually without knowing they do it at all. This condition is known as bruxism and can lead to broken teeth, loss of tooth enamel, and even loss of teeth.
Some symptoms can indicate you suffer from bruxism and should try a night mouthguard. These symptoms include waking up with headaches, jaw soreness, and facial pain.
In addition to all your at-home oral hygiene habits, you should see your dentist twice a year for a thorough cleaning. This gives your dentist a chance to examine your teeth and mouth, polish your teeth, and apply a protective fluoride treatment. Regular cleanings are important for good gum health, preventing tooth decay, and protecting your tooth enamel.
Your dentist can also use this time to talk about any symptoms you are experiencing and identify whether they are a cause for concern.
Dental x-rays are an important part of preventative oral care. They help your dentist identify potential future problems, monitor the health of your teeth, and keep an eye on anything they see. The process is very simple and involves little to no risk. X-rays can usually be taken in your regular dentist’s office as part of a routine visit
Braces are used to align your teeth and jaw properly. If you have misaligned teeth, you may experience many different symptoms. Getting orthodontic treatment is essential to prevent further damage that could require serious intervention.
There are three types of traditional braces:
• Brackets attached to the front of the teeth
• Brackets attached to the back of the teeth
• Metal bands that wrap around the teeth
Depending on your age and the nature of your dental issue, your orthodontist will pick the appropriate type of braces to use.
Invisalign is a thermoplastic aligner that fits perfectly over your teeth. Your dentist will use them to make many minor adjustments over time, just like braces. They are more cosmetically appealing than braces because they are clear and molded to the teeth. In most cases, Invisalign can completely replace braces. Invisalign prices are also more affordable compared to some other orthodontic treatments.
Retainers and other non-invasive orthodontic devices can be used to treat minor alignment problems or to maintain alignment after a major treatment such as braces. They can help maintain the space between your teeth, keep your jaw in alignment, or keep your teeth from moving back to their original malposition.
Restorative Dentistry Treatments
While stained teeth usually do not cause any physical symptoms or indicate a problem, they can make you insecure. Foods and beverages can contribute to staining over time. Some medications can also lead to tooth staining, such as tetracycline. Of course, smoking also stains teeth.
Teeth whitening can happen at home or in the dentist’s office. The first step is to practice good oral hygiene such as brushing your teeth, flossing, and going to regular dental exams. You should also limit the consumption of food and drinks that can cause staining such as red wine, coffee, and tea.
If these habit changes do not resolve your staining, talk to your dentist about the pros and cons of whitening treatments.
Veneers are made of porcelain and bonded to the teeth. This treatment can repair chipped or decayed teeth. They can also help close gaps between teeth. Veneers can be contoured to correct slightly crowded or overlapping teeth. Severely misaligned teeth should not be treated with veneers, however.
Veneers can also treat cosmetic problems. To cover a stained tooth, the enamel will be ground down slightly to make space for the veneer. Therefore they should only be used as a treatment for teeth that are severely stained.
Veneers require local anesthetic and may take more than one appointment before you see the final results.
Crowns, also known as caps, are used to protect and preserve damaged teeth. They fit over a tooth that is damaged by decay, broken, badly stained, or misshaped. Crowns are made of gold, porcelain bonded to metal, or all-ceramic porcelain.
Ceramic crowns can be very thin, and this allows a natural tooth-like appearance because the light can pass through the crown like real teeth. However, ceramic crowns are not recommended for certain teeth that require a lot of impact such as your molars. Thankfully these are in the back of the mouth, so the cosmetic appearance is not quite as important.
Your teeth are always in contact with each other, so when you lose one tooth your other teeth can move as a result. If you have lost a permanent tooth due to trauma or decay, it is important to use a dental implant to restore and maintain proper alignment.
Implants are placed using minor oral surgery and are directly inserted into the jawbone. The process can take a few months and several procedures to complete, but the results are permanent. Implants work just like real teeth and are worthwhile for many patients.