Most people consider going to the dentist one of the worst experiences of their life, even if it is essential to stop pain. But with the many new techniques available today, dental procedures don’t have to be painful. Even the pain of the dreaded numbing needle can be reduce when the gum is numbed with a topical application before the main numbing solution is injected.
Going to the dentist is something that should be done on a regular basis to catch problems before they become major and ensure treatment given will be as effective as possible.
Here are 4 common dental procedures you may need.
- Remove decay and repair tooth. Most people with decays find it necessary to have a numbing injection before having the decay drilled out. If you don’t have it, the drill can hit a nerve and that will make you jump. Once the area is numb, you won’t feel any pain, but you may still feel some pressure as the procedure is done. The decayed parts of the tooth have to be removed, the area cleaned and a filling put into the cavity to prevent any more decay. The material used is set using a light or laser, making the filling very strong.
- Root canal treatment. This is done when the root of the tooth becomes infected, which happens if you don’t get decays seen to, or if fillings get loose and allow bacteria in. The treatment includes scraping the pulp out of the root canal and treating it to remove the infection. This usually has to be done over several weeks before the cavity can be completely filled and sealed off. If it is not treated, the tooth is likely to fall out and it will lead to gum disease, which is a serious health problem.
- Dental crowns or caps. These are used to repair good teeth that have been cracked, chipped or broken. The dentist will usually use a composite resin material and a chemical to stick it to the tooth. The end result will look just like your own tooth, but often better. It can also be used to improve the look of uneven or gapped teeth. It does not compromise the tooth in any way and the work is usually done in just one appointment.
- Bridges and implants. These are used in to replace a missing tooth or teeth. If there are strong teeth on both sides of the gap, a bridge can be used, wiring the false tooth to each side. A bridge can also be supported by an implant. With an implant, a titanium screw is inserted into the jawbone and a cap – a false tooth – added to it after the bone has grown around the screw to make it strong and stable.