When you visit the dentist, what dental procedures do you normally see that they offer in their clinics? There are so many dental procedures available nowadays, and it all depends on the specialization of your dental professional, and the needs of their target patients. Here are some of the most common dental procedures that dentists and other specialist dentists can recommend and offer their patients.
Common dental procedures
For us to be able to cover most of the common dental procedures anyone can avail, we should categorize them based on the expertise of specialization of the dental provider that you are seeking the help of.
A general dentist is compared to your primary care practitioner. He is the first dental professional that you consult with to assess, diagnose, and treat a dental problem. If the issue is too complicated for him, he may refer you to a specialist dentist so that you would get the appropriate advice and treatment that you need.
General dentists perform dental procedures like:
- Comprehensive dental examination
- Dental cleaning/oral prophylaxis
- Dental filling and bonding
- Tooth extraction
- Fissure sealants
- Fluoride varnish application
- Dental health teaching and consultation
- Other preventative dental procedures
As their name implies, these dental experts are concerned about the health and status of the inner part of your tooth, called the root or pulp. They specialize in performing root canal treatments and other surgeries or complicated oral treatments that concern the nerves and blood vessels of the tooth.
When it comes to teeth alignment problems, orthodontists are the ones you should call. Although more general dentists tend to offer these procedures as well, the expertise and training of orthodontists in handling malocclusion are more reliable.
- Dental aligners
- Jaw and palate expanders
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons
For many types of surgical procedures in and about the entire face, mouth, and jaw area, the services of an oral and maxillofacial surgeon should be the once to rely on. Here are just some of the dental procedures that they can perform and offer:
- Reconstructive surgery for accident-caused injuries
- Dental implant surgery
- Simple to complex tooth extractions (wisdom tooth removal)
- Soft tissue biopsy
- Surgical removal of tumors and cysts
- complex jaw realignment surgeries involving facial or bite problems
- correction of a fractured cheek or jaw bone repair
- congenital soft tissue (cleft palate or lip) repair
Gum problems? Here are periodontists to the rescue! They are the ones who assess, diagnose, and treat gum and jaw problems that affect the integrity of your teeth.
- Simple and deep pocket cleanings
- Root planning
- Crown lengthening procedures
- Soft tissue and/or bone grafting
- Gingival or flap procedures
- Soft tissue recontouring or removal (gingivoplasty or gingivectomy)
- Hard tissue recontouring (osteoplasty)
- Implant placement
Missing teeth will not be a problem if you know a trusted prosthodontist. They specialize in dental procedures that replace the missing tooth or teeth without making them look noticeably artificial-looking.
- Dental implants
- Procedures that replace missing parts of the face and jaws with artificial substitutes
Unlike the specialty dentists mentioned earlier, cosmetic dentists do not necessarily address functional problems of the teeth and gums. They offer dental procedures that improve and enhance the physical attributes of your mouth, particularly the teeth and gums.
- Teeth whitening
- Dental veneers
- Dental bonding
- Dental crown
- Teeth reshaping
- Inlays and onlays
All you need to do is to consult your cosmetic dentists so he can assess your dental condition and recommend certain procedures that would make your teeth and smile look more radiant.
Choosing your dental procedure: Some words of advice
Choose a specialist for your specialized treatment. There are so many general dentists nowadays who offer dental procedures that are not part of their specialization. Although their years of practice and experience in performing these procedures could not be ignored, let us keep in mind that specialist dentists studied and obtained a license and recognition to perform these complex procedures. For instance, dental procedures like braces, root canal treatment, gum surgery, and implant surgery should only be provided by specialist dentists to make sure that you are getting the optimal results and success of the treatment.
Consult your dentist first. If you are planning on undergoing a complicated dental procedure, it is best that your general dentist or family dentist is aware of this. They are the one who holds your dental history and different dental information, so bypassing them could increase the risk of miscommunication and missing information regarding your overall oral and general health. Allergies, medications taken, previous surgeries, and current health problems may affect the steps and results of the procedure you want to undergo. Let your dentist send a referral letter to your chosen specialist dentist so he can endorse all the information that can be necessary during your dental procedure.
Follow the advice and instructions of your dental provider. You have chosen the right dental practitioner and underwent the appropriate dental procedure to solve your problem, but you neglected their post-procedure instructions. Or, you have overlooked the pre-procedural instructions for the proper preparation for the treatment. Either of the scenarios given will up your chances of developing complications and unwanted after-effects that may affect not just your mouth but your overall well-being. Make sure that you listened and understood all the care instructions that your dental provider gives you, and strictly follow each one. You should also contribute to the success of the dental procedures you are going to get.