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Learn More About Common Dental Procedures

There are a number of common dental procedures that you may need at some point in your life. Being familiar with the procedures that are available will give you the opportunity to choose when you need them. Here we'll take a look at some of those different choices.


When teeth become fractured or chipped or they decay then this type of treatment is used to repair that type of damage. The procedure will consist of the dentist's mixing a type of resin and plastic into a paste.

He will then tint the mixture to match the particular color he's trying to achieve for your teeth. It will be necessary to apply several layers of the resin to each of your teeth. A laser or ultraviolet light is used to harden the application.

The dentist will then polish and shape everything so that your teeth are smooth and natural looking.

This procedure is also used to give a person a more youthful look. It can be used for all ages including children. This is possible because the resin itself is replaceable as teeth grow.


This type of device helps to realign teeth and correct overbites. They also can help adjust an underbite. Braces are used to help teeth straighten by applying pressure on them over time.

Implants And Bridges

dental implant pic

When you have missing teeth you can replace them by either putting in implants or installing a bridge. A bridge has two crowns that are used as anchors and then a tooth that is in the middle of those. Implants use man-made roots that are used to support the man-made tooth in the gum.

Caps And Crowns

When a tooth has become badly damaged or broken or irreversibly stained, then putting a cap or crown on can solve the problem. This type of procedure will typically require you to come for more than one visit. A crown can be made of different materials including porcelain, acrylic, metal, or a combination of porcelain that is bonded to metal.

A crown that is made of all porcelain will look the closest to a real tooth and for that reason, it is what is most commonly used for teeth located in the front part of the mouth. When porcelain is bonded with metal it's much stronger and that is why it's used when making crowns for the back part of your mouth. An all-metal crown is less expensive and very strong and that's why this type of crown is sometimes used for back teeth.

In preparation for applying a crown, the tooth itself is frozen by using anesthesia. The tooth is then filed down so that the cap can more easily fit over it. The dentist then makes an impression of the tooth and gums and then places a temporary cap over the tooth to protect it until the permanent crown is prepared.

It will be necessary to come back for another visit to have the permanent crown applied. At that visit, the temporary cap is removed and the permanent one is applied. The permanent crown is formed into a shape and color that will closely match your other teeth.


Sometimes it is necessary to extract a severely damaged tooth. In some cases, a tooth may need to be removed for the purpose of other orthodontic treatments.


These are basically prosthetic teeth used in place of teeth that have been lost. There are partial and full dentures available. A full set of dentures is sometimes called false teeth.

Repairs And Fillings

If a tooth has been damaged or developed a cavity then it will need to be repaired or have a filling put in place.

Gum Surgery

The gums can develop a disease or become infected. This can damage your teeth and cause you to lose part of your gum line. The two most common stages are gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is considered reversible because it is milder. Periodontal disease, however, is more serious. Depending on the level of infection it might be necessary to have gum surgery to correct the infection.

Cancer Of The Mouth

This type of cancer can start in the throat, the tongue, or the mouth. A dental examination will commonly include being screened for oral cancer. The dentist will look for lumps or irregularity in the tissue of the mouth, head, neck, and face. The dentist will also look for sores in your mouth.

Root canals

This procedure is used to treat abscessed or diseased teeth. When a tooth becomes severely decayed, cracked or injured the dentist will need to open the tooth so that it can be fully cleaned out and so the infection is fully removed.

This leaves an open space in a tooth that needs to be filled. Using this technique to save a tooth will help your remaining teeth by keeping them from drifting out of alignment. This procedure also helps to keep your natural teeth, eliminating the need for using artificial teeth.


This is something used to protect teeth from bacteria that could cause them to decay. A dentist will most often use this on the back teeth of the mouth. These include molars and premolars.

Teeth Whitening

As a person ages, their teeth will naturally darken and they may become stained from things like tobacco, tea, coffee, and other factors. There are a number of methods for whitening teeth that a dentist can offer in the office or for use at home.


This is a thin layer of porcelain that is bonded to your teeth. It can be used to repair stained teeth or to fix a tooth that was chipped or decayed. It's also used to close gaps between teeth. When your teeth become discolored because of age this type of veneer can significantly improve your appearance.

Veneers can be used cosmetically in lieu of crowns. This process will commonly require an anesthetic. It will also usually require more than one appointment to the dentist office.