Dental Procedures

In your lifetime you are likely to undergo a variety of procedures as part of your dental care plan.

The articles in this section give you a solid understanding of what is involved in each.

  • Air Abrasion

    Overview
    Although not used much today, air abrasion is an alternative to the dental “drill”.  It is used to prepare teeth for the placement of white fillings (composites) and sealants.
    What is air abrasion?
    Air abrasion involves the use of compressed air to direct an abrasive material (aluminum oxide powder,… Read the full Air Abrasion article

  • Braces (Orthodontics)

    Overview

    Orthodontics is a specialty of dentistry that treats misalignment (malocclusion) due to crooked teeth and/or improper jaw positioning. Ortho- means “straight” and dontics means “teeth” or, in this case, “the straightening of teeth.”

    Most patients think that getting “braces” is only about straight teeth and a nicer smile. Treatment… Read the full Braces (Orthodontics) article

  • Cosmetic Dentistry

    Overview

    The American Heritage Dictionary defines cosmetic as “the correction of physical defects.” Cosmetic dentistry is the correction of dental defects including a wide variety of problems, including dark fillings; broken teeth; yellow teeth, the closing of spaces; and the changing of the shape, contour, position and even the sizeof… Read the full Cosmetic Dentistry article

  • Crowns

    Overview

    A crown, as the name implies, does not sit on top of the tooth; it covers three-quarters, seven-eighths or the entire tooth. Crowns that cover three-quarters or seven-eighths of the tooth are made out of metal or porcelain, and are used when a portion of the tooth is still… Read the full Crowns article

  • Dental Bridges

    Overview

    A bridge is a fixed dental restoration (to restore a lost part), cemented into place and not removable by the patient. A bridge restores a gap or a space where a tooth is missing or has been removed. A bridge is created by preparing the teeth at either end of the space… Read the full Dental Bridges article

  • Dental Implants

    Overview
    Implants in dentistry involve the surgical placement of the implant into bone and the implant becoming firmly fused or integrated with bone. Dental implants are used for the replacement of lost teeth, the securing of full dentures, as an anchor for orthodontic treatment (see Braces), or for the restoring… Read the full Dental Implants article

  • Dental X-rays

    Overview

    Dental x-rays (radiographs,) whether taken digitally or with dental film, are a vital component in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of dental disease. Without x-rays, proper dental treatment cannot be performed. Most states require dental x-rays be taken on a regular interval and State Dental Boards can dictate no… Read the full Dental X-rays article

  • Dentures & Partials

    Overview

    Dentures are a removable set of teeth designed to replace your teeth following extractions (the removal of all teeth). These false teeth are embedded in acrylic designed to match the pigment of the natural gum tissue. Ideally, the acrylic is designed to rest on your gums or oral soft… Read the full Dentures & Partials article

  • Fillings

    Overview

    A filling is a dental procedure where material is used to replace tooth structure that has been lost due to tooth decay or a minor fracture. The filling restores lost tooth structure and re-establishes the contour of the tooth. Fillings are also referred to as “direct restorations” because the decay… Read the full Fillings article

  • Inlays and Onlays

    Overview

    An inlay is a laboratory-constructed restoration that is placed between the cusp tips of your tooth and typically restores the area between your teeth as well. An onlay covers anywhere from one cusp tip to the entire biting surface, but not the entire tongue and cheek side of your… Read the full Inlays and Onlays article

  • Lasers in Dentistry

     
    Overview
    Lasers have been around for a long time in medicine and more recently in dentistry. There are several types of lasers useful to dental treatment; when used correctly, lasers become an invaluable too, creating more comfort during treatment and less discomfort following treatment.
    Use of lasers in dentistry:… Read the full Lasers in Dentistry article

  • Oral Surgery

    Overview

    The phrase “oral surgery” is an umbrella term for a range of procedures to surgically treat a variety of mouth, head and/or neck issues. These surgeries may be performed by a specialist in oral surgery (Oral Surgeon), a dentist who specializes in gum disease (Periodontist), a root canal specialist… Read the full Oral Surgery article

  • Pain Control

    Novocain: Local Anesthesia in Dentistry (the “shot”)
    Local anesthesia in dentistry (commonly referred to as Novocain), is used to completely remove the pain sensation of the dental procedure. Local anesthetic works by the chemical process known as dissociation. The Novocain (anesthetic) is in the form of two or more chemicals… Read the full Pain Control article

  • Root Canal Treatment

    Overview

    Inside every normal, healthy tooth is a space, containing a nerve, artery, and vein, called the pulp. Inside the part of the tooth that can be seen above the gums (clinical crown) is the pulp chamber. Inside the part of the tooth below the gums (tooth roots) are the… Read the full Root Canal Treatment article

  • The Dental Exam

    Overview
    Dental exams are recommended on an annual or bi-annual basis, depending on the preference of the patient and the dentist. While many patients want to get their teeth cleaned or bleached without having an exam, this would be considered a breach in the State Dental Board’s “Standard of Care”…. Read the full The Dental Exam article

  • Whitening/bleaching

    Overview

    Whitening works by applying carbamide or hydrogen peroxide solution to the tooth surface. Peroxide whitener reacts with water to form hydrogen, which produces the whitening. The degree of tooth whitening obtained is directly proportional to the strength of the whitening solution and the amount of time the solution is… Read the full Whitening/bleaching article