What is Involved in General Dental Care
What is General Dental Care
Basically dental care is what we do every day at home. Wash our teeth every day and floss every day. Unfortunately this is not enough so visiting a dentist at least once a year is necessary.
It is important to periodically visit a dentist to check your teeth and gums to avoid new oral issues which can rapidly advance and require expensive and invasive treatments.
Regular checkups can caught early and treated conservatively, and some conditions can even be reversed if they are caught early.
When you visit your dentist for a general checkup there are many things that he can perform.
This is generally a simple and painless process that involves the use of professional grade toothbrush together with mildly abrasive compounds used to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth’s surface. A high pressure water pick is also used to remove the possible food remains and bacteria that accumulates in the gums pockets (the are between the tooth and gum line).
Professional teeth cleaning is needed because there are areas in your mouth that are hard to reach when one wash our teeth and there is exactly where tooth decay and gum disease starts.
As it names indicate, they literally bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth. A bridge is made up of two or more crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap. Dental bridges are supported by natural teeth or implants.
Also known as dental X-ray, they produce a fairly accurate image of the dental cavity including its bone, teeth and internal jaw structure. They are very useful since they allow the dentist to see the internal condition and locate:
– bone or gum loss
– periodontal disease
– other abnormalities
This is one of the most common dental procedures. The idea is to replace parts or sections of a tooth that was lost due to a injury, for example by bitting something very hard like a fruit pit or very hard candy. Also when there is decay, dentist need to remove it using a dental turbine (also known as drill) with a special bit. Fillings can also restore the surfaces of the teeth that become worn, for example when you keep a tight jaw while you sleep or by the way you chew.
The basic idea of a filling is to replace lost material and try to reconstruct the teeth structure, also to prevent food and debris form entering the tooth and also to protect the tooth nerve form being exposed.
Filling material can be made of different materials:
– composite resin
Each of them has its pros and cons. Some to consider are: costs, durability, color/hue (or how they look on the teeth), health concerns due to possible content of mercury in amalgams, etc
Dental caps (are also known as crowns) cover or go over a tooth. They are used to protect damaged or worn teeth. They serve two purposes:
– cosmetic: to make a tooth look as natural as possible
– medical: to prevent future damages to the structure and surface of a teeth and to prevent dental nerve exposure.
Like dental fillings, they are made of different materials each with its benefits and drawbacks but in general a well made and maintained dental crown can last from 5 to 15 years.
It is of paramount importance that the dentist takes special care when installing a dental crown since tooth decay can occur on the margins of the cap (the minimal surface exposed between the crown and the actual tooth).