Health & Personal Care

Top dental services for optimal oral health

Top dental services for optimal oral health

Maintaining healthy gums and teeth is imperative for looking presentable, and it is also an important aspect of overall health. Good dental practices are closely related to maintaining gut health and developing resistance to infections and various other illnesses. Apart from treatments for taking care of existing oral health issues, you can opt for several other dental services as preventive measures for dental problems. Some of these also provide cosmetic and aesthetic benefits. Read on to know more about some of the common dental services that people opt for nowadays.

Dental checkups
A dental health exam is a free service offered by several dental clinics to people who have insurance. Many prefer to get these checkups done on a regular basis to keep an eye on issues that may escalate into something that requires intensive and expensive treatment. Here’s what a dental checkup comprises:

  • It typically involves the dentist enquiring about your oral hygiene habits, reviewing your medical history, and examining the effects of both on your dental health. This is also a good opportunity for you to ask any questions you may have about your gums and teeth or advice on how to maintain better dental hygiene.
  • Additionally, your dentist may prescribe an X-ray, if needed, to examine the teeth below the gumline. Once they are done checking the teeth and gums, they may offer you a comprehensive plan for treating any issues.

We recommend going for a dental checkup at least once in 6 months to avoid any dental issues from aggravating into bigger concerns.

Tooth extraction
While there are myriad dental services available to deal with damages to the teeth and restore them, they can only help repair a tooth damaged to a certain extent. In some cases, extraction may be needed in case of severe damage due to disease or trauma. Sometimes, a tooth may also be extracted for undergoing other dental services, like pulling the teeth for braces.

The dental professional usually walks the patient through the procedure and any steps to be taken before and after the extraction. If you’re scheduled to undergo a tooth extraction procedure, ensure that you follow all the instructions diligently. There are two kinds of tooth extraction procedures:

  • Simple tooth extraction procedure is used for removing a tooth that is already visible. For this type of extraction procedure, the dentist will numb the tooth and gums around it before pulling the tooth.
  • Surgical extraction procedures are for teeth that have not erupted yet, like tooth extraction procedures for a wisdom tooth that has not erupted properly.

Both procedures may require patients to take painkillers as a post-op step. Also, some amount of swelling is normal after tooth extraction, and your dentist will guide you on how to handle it.

Filling cavities
Taking care of a cavity in the early stages of tooth decay helps save the tooth and also keeps the damage from spreading to the surrounding teeth. Tooth sensitivity can occur or increase due to a cavity, as it may expose the inner nerves and make the tooth even more sensitive to anything you eat. A common dental service, tooth extraction mostly takes only one appointment or session, lasting anywhere between an hour to three hours. Another common dental service provided across all dental clinics, this procedure includes the following steps:

  • The dental professional cleans the decay in the teeth using a drill, which is done to clear out unwanted bacteria and dirt.
  • The next step of filling the cleaned-out cavity completes the procedure. These fillings are a replacement for the part of the tooth lost to the decay.

The cavity is typically filled with composite resin nowadays, but some dentists may use another filling component like amalgam and glass ionomer fillings. These filings are shaped to give the tooth the same structure as before, and they help the tooth regain its original strength and functionality. The filling also keeps more dirt from entering the cavity. The type of anesthetic used for the procedure depends on the extent of the decay. Once the procedure is done, the dentist may also perform a bite check to ensure that the new structure of the tooth that has been filled aligns with the rest of the teeth. If your dental professional forgets to do this test, we recommend that you request for it.

Root canals
A root canal is among the top dental services that many people are afraid of. The procedure usually spans across multiple appointments and requires the patient to be careful about what they eat for a few days after the procedure. A root canal can relieve pain due to an infected pulp in the teeth.

It is required when decay has damaged a considerable part of the tooth and ends up infecting the soft tissue inside it. The treatment is aimed at cleaning out the infection from the root canal to prevent it in the future. Modern root canal procedures are not very different from filling procedures. You will need to see an endodontist for getting a root canal and may be referred to one by your dentist. Here’s how the procedure is carried out:

  • It begins with numbing the tooth that needs a root canal and the surrounding areas.
  • Then, the infected pulp is removed from the pulp chamber through an opening in the crown of the tooth.
  • Once the inflamed pulp has been removed, the inner part of the tooth is cleaned, disinfected, filled, and sealed.
  • The canal of each root is disinfected after a thorough cleaning and then filled to prevent it from getting infected again.

Sometimes, the dental expert may choose to place medicine inside the canals to treat them. This is just a temporary filling, and the permanent filling is put during the next appointment. A root canal is usually done in conjunction with another dental service of placing a crown on the restored tooth to bring it back to complete functionality.

Dental crown
A dental crown or cap is placed over a tooth to restore a damaged tooth’s shape and functionality. The purpose of placing a crown is not just cosmetic and helps make the tooth stronger. This dental procedure takes a couple of visits to the dentist:

  • The dental expert will first prepare the tooth by removing some of the outer structure to make the crown fit well. They will also remove any decay or dirt.
  • The next step would be the creation of an impression of the tooth using a mold or a digital scanner.
  • They then place a temporary crown until the permanent crown is made, which may take up to 2 weeks. Many dental clinics now have an in-house facility that enables dental crowns to be made and offered on the same day. You can check around your locality for any providers who offer this dental service.
  • Once the permanent crown is ready, it is placed in the mouth to provide the best fit and position for the patient. Some adjustments may be made to the tooth and the crown before they are fused together.

Dental crowns are available in a variety of materials, and you can choose one depending on the location of the tooth to be fitted with it and your budget. They can be made of metal alloys, porcelain, resin, ceramic, steel, and porcelain-fused-to-metal.

Patients may need a dental crown for a variety of reasons, including treatment for a tooth with cavities too large to be filled, a tooth that has undergone a root canal, a cracked tooth, or for hiding discoloration on a tooth.

Cosmetic dentistry services
Apart from the procedures mentioned earlier that help maintain the health of the gums and teeth, there are several procedures that you can undergo for cosmetic purposes. That being said, some of these may be quite expensive as they are performed for aesthetic reasons, and they are not appropriate replacements for the dental services mentioned so far.

Here are some of the cosmetic procedures:

  • Teeth whitening
    The natural color of teeth can dull over time due to certain lifestyle choices and habits like regular coffee consumption. Sometimes, teeth discoloration may also occur due to aging. A teeth whitening procedure can help reverse this, and it is one of the most popular cosmetic dental services people opt for today. While teeth whitening can also be done using at-home whitening kits, treatment at a dentist’s clinic may show better results as the bleaching agent used for whitening is stronger. So, it is recommended for people with severe teeth discoloration.
  • Veneers
    A veneer is used to fill the gaps between teeth or for covering stained or crooked teeth. A veneer is a thin structure that is the same color as the tooth, and it is customized for each patient. Made of ceramic or composite resin to look like natural teeth, veneers are bonded or cemented in place to the front of the teeth.
  • Braces
    This treatment is suggested for patients with crowded or crooked teeth. In most cases, teeth are overcrowded and may hamper the bite, so small metal brackets are placed to help pull the teeth back into position. The placement of the brackets varies for each patient, and you may also be able to choose the colors of the brackets to help the braces be more inconspicuous.
  • Enamel shaping
    Enamel shaping involves contouring the tooth enamel or the outer layer of the teeth. A painless procedure, it is done to give a better shape to improve appearance and to reduce overcrowding in some cases.

Tips to help you choose the right dental services provider
Here are some tips to help you find the right dental services brand or provider:

  • A common criterion that you should keep in mind when looking for any health service providers, and specialized dental service providers, is to consider the location and timings. If you’re trying to squeeze in an appointment during a busy workday, look for a dental clinic close to your workplace. Another factor to consider is the timings of the dental clinic; ensure that you can get an appointment during your break time or before or after office hours.
  • Since most dental services are now listed online, you may be able to easily find reviews from other patients. Go through the reviews on multiple sites to ensure that you’re going to a good dentist.
  • If you have insurance, check beforehand whether the dentist’s office accepts the plan you have. It is always better to understand dental insurance terms and definitions before you get a treatment.
  • If you’re scheduled for an invasive dental procedure, ensure that you bring someone along with you. For example, if you are scheduled for undergoing a root canal treatment with local anesthetics, you may not feel strong or alert enough to leave the clinic and go home by yourself. Besides, it’s best not to drive yourself home from the clinic if you do not feel up for it, so always have a friend or relative with you.

Once you have zeroed down on a dental professional to consult, ensure that you schedule an appointment for a convenient visit. Also, it is ideal to request a written dental treatment plan as it can come in handy if you decide to switch dentists or cities. Remember that you do not have to stick to a particular dentist if you feel that your experience has not been great. Your healthcare or dental services provider should always be someone you are comfortable with.

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