Learn About the Top Ten Common Dental Procedures for Canadians
Cleaning your teeth and gums healthy is a lifelong commitment. No one is immune to dental problems. Regular dental checkups and appointments with your dentist for professional cleanups are the best thing one can do to keep dental problems at bay.
While some of the procedures are straightforward, others are a bit complicated and more involved. The information listed below will help you understand the many procedures and treatments available. Here are the top 10 dental procedures and their benefits.
One of the standard dental procedures is bonding. For teeth that are uneven in shape, chipped, fractured, or spaced out, dentists resort to bonding to make them look even and better. It is done by mixing composite resin into a paste and applying it to the disfigured tooth. Several layers of resin are applied to the problematic tooth. After applying each layer, it is hardened under UV laser or light. Once set enough, the tooth is then shaped and polished for the final natural and smooth finish. This dental procedure is also used to make older teeth look younger.
Veneers are used to repair chipped, decayed, and stained teeth. Thin but durable pieces of porcelain are made to bond to the teeth. Veneers are also used to close gaps between irregular teeth or even crowded or overlapping teeth. Many people opt for veneers instead of crowns. During this procedure, the use of a local anesthetic is common. The final touch includes slightly grounding the tooth enamel.
Also known as a cap, crowns are used to cover the damaged part of decayed, broken, badly stained, or unshaped teeth. They protect the affected tooth from further damage. Crowns can be made of acrylic, metal, porcelain, or porcelain bonded to metal.
Dentists usually use porcelain crowns for the front teeth because they look more like natural teeth, while porcelain bonded to metal are used as crowns on molars and premolars. Because metal is durable, the all-metal crowns are used for the back teeth.
The dentists freeze the tooth to be crowned with anesthesia and then file it down for the crown to fit over it. For this, the person must visit the dentist for a couple of sittings. Till the crown is ready, a temporary cap is fitted over the tooth. Crowns are made by taking an impression of the teeth and gums so that the crown mimics the natural tooth. On the next sitting, the crown is then cemented onto the tooth.
One of the most common dental procedures is braces. When teeth are not correctly aligned, they can cause bite-related problems, such as underbite or overbite, that may, at times, lead to mouth ulcers or blisters. In such a case, braces are applied to put gentle pressure on the misaligned teeth and force them into their correct position. Braces can either be the fixed type or ones that can be removed.
Bridges are used to restore severely damaged teeth to their former self. Bridges are false teeth that consist of two crowns. They are anchored in place by the neighboring teeth. The crown covers both the nearby teeth as well as the false one in the middle.
Dentures are used as prosthetic devices. A denture can be partial or full, and full dentures are usually referred to as ‘false teeth.’
Cavities in the teeth are usually treated by filling them. These fillings can be of different types, and it is the patient who decides what kind of a filling they want to opt. Restorative materials are used to repair damaged teeth.
8. Root Canal Treatment
Extraction is not the only way to treat affected or injured teeth. Patients with abscessed or wounded teeth usually undergo root canal treatment. This procedure is carried out by either a dentist or an endodontist.
Dentists drill the infected tooth and clean the infected tissues. The hole is then filled and sealed. This simple procedure not only saves the tooth but also prevents other teeth from malalignment. If not treated, it could lead to jaw problems and difficulty eating. A root canal treatment also prevents the patient from opting for an artificial tooth.
9. Teeth Whitening
Compared to most dental procedures, teeth whitening is pretty common. The obsession of Canadians for a brighter and whiter smile has led to a wide range of teeth whitening options to hit the dental market. Though natural teeth are never entirely white, the demand for procedures of teeth whitening has shot up to an extent where dentists cannot ignore it.
Usually, the darkening of teeth occurs with age. Still, staining of teeth can also be a result of smoking, drinking tea and coffee, consuming drugs like tetracycline, eating certain berries, etc. The typical teeth whitening options available include in-office and at-home bleaching. Both use peroxide-based bleaching agents.
To stop decay-causing bacteria from invading and attacking healthy teeth, dentists often use sealants to block that space. Sealants are usually applied to teeth present at the back of the mouth. It is the surface of these molars and premolars that get denuded and so have to be sealed.
It is only your dentist who has the expertise and training to provide you a proper diagnosis of your oral health conditions. There are a variety of cosmetic options available that you can opt for in addition to maintaining a good home care dental routine. Follow the advice of your dentist and create a habit of regular cleaning and dental care for optimum oral health.
As always, before venturing into any new dental procedures, you must be covered. Most international health insurance provides dental coverage as an option. It will come in handy, especially if you’re abroad and knowing dental procedures can be costly, getting adequately covered saves you the hassle.