When it comes to our general health, most members of the public tend to be better informed than ever, knowing exactly when to seek help and where to find it. However, when it comes to dental health, many people ignore issues until they are in significant pain. Why? Most of the time, it is because they are unfamiliar with general dental procedure and avoid engaging with it until it is absolutely necessary and perhaps even an emergency. This reluctance is generally borne of ignorance. So, here’s a quick run through of common dental procedures for you to familiarise yourself with. Remember, good oral health comes down to so much more than effective brushing and flossing!
General Check Ups
We are all well aware that we should check in with our dentist once every six months ideally or once a year at least. A general check up allows your dentist to examine the general health of your teeth, gums, and tongue. This is the perfect time to talk about any problems that you may have experienced since your last check up. They can then address any issues, such as the need for fillings, crowns or root canals and book you in for a subsequent appointment to treat and resolve the situation. Finally, your dentist will be able to make recommendations that will help you to maintain a healthier smile, including dietary tips and other general health information. If you are looking for an experienced dentist, check out iCare Family Dentistry known for all their reputable dentists.
A hygienist is a specialist dentist who professionally cleans your teeth and endorses the maintenance of good oral hygiene. When heading to the hygienist, you can expect a thorough examination of your whole mouth and a scale and polish. A scale and polish consist of the practitioner using an Ultrasonic to clean around your gum line and around the front and back of your teeth. This effectively removes any plaque or tartar build up. The polish then gives your teeth an extra shine, so you can expect to leave with your pearly whites shining brightly. You should aim to see your hygienist once every six months at least and most certainly once a year.
Dental Implants are an option available for people who have lost a tooth and feel self-conscious about how this affects their overall aesthetic appearance. While you are likely to get on just fine with just one or two teeth missing, you may prefer to look as though you have a full set of healthy, strong teeth in your mouth. A dental implant is essentially an artificial tooth root made of titanium metal. It is placed into your jawbone by a professional dentist, and a fake tooth is then attached to the implant. The procedure itself is relatively complex. However, it is carried out regularly on a whole demographic of patients. Some will have just the one implant, others will have all of their teeth replaced with them. While the success of the procedure depends largely on the aptitude of the dental surgeon carrying the operation out, it is also highly dependent on the patient’s aftercare. So, if you do opt for dental implants, ensure that you follow any post-procedure aftercare guidelines given to you by your practitioner. This may include details of medication and specific cleaning regimes.
Root canal treatments (otherwise known as endodontics) are used to address infection at the centre of a tooth (namely, in the tooth’s root canal system). While cleaning teeth thoroughly helps to prevent infection, there are sometimes alternative issues that result in the need for root canal treatment, such as leaky fillings or damage to a tooth through physical trauma such as a knock or fall. There are plenty of symptoms that you are likely to experience in the lead up to the infection of your tooth’s pulp, so keep an eye out for them and visit your dentist as soon as any issues arise. Tell tale signs of infection include tooth sensitivity, pain when biting or chewing and loose teeth. The gum around the infected tooth may be swollen, red and painful and you may experience facial swelling around your cheeks and might perhaps even see pus oozing from the affected tooth gum line. Root canal treatment generally takes one of two paths: removing the bacteria from the tooth’s root or complete tooth removal. Most dentists opt for the first choice, as it’s preferable to keep as many of your natural teeth as possible for practical and aesthetic reasons. Prior to treatment, you will receive a local aneasthetic. The tooth will then be drilled to remove bacteria and infection, then sealed with a filling or a crown.
While these are just a couple of procedures that you may experience, it is absolutely essential that you check in with your dentist and hygiene regularly. This will allow them to identify any problems or health issues early on, meaning that problems can be prevented from developing to the point that dental implants or root canal treatments are necessary. This will save you from experiencing pain and spending too much cash and time down the line.