Dentistry, the profession concerned with the prevention and treatment of oral disease, including diseases of the teeth and supporting structures and diseases of the soft tissues of the mouth. Dentistry also encompasses the treatment and correction of malformation of the jaws, misalignment of the teeth, and birth anomalies of the oral cavity such as cleft palate. In addition to general practice, dentistry includes many specialties and subspecialties, including orthodontics and dental orthopedics, pediatric dentistry, periodontics, prosthodontics, oral and maxillofacial surgery, oral and maxillofacial pathology, endodontics, public health dentistry, and oral and maxillofacial radiology.
Visiting the dentist regularly will not only help keep your teeth and mouth healthy, but will also help keep the rest of your body healthy. Dental care is important because it:
Your teeth may feel fine, but it's still important to see the dentist regularly because problems can exist without you knowing. Your smile's appearance is important, and your dentist can help keep your smile healthy and looking beautiful. With so many advances in dentistry, you no longer have to settle for stained, chipped, missing, or misshapen teeth. Today's dentists offer many treatment choices that can help you smile with confidence, including:
Choosing a dentist who “clicks” with you and your family is important, and you may wish to consider several dentists before making your final decision. During your first visit, you should be able to determine whether the dentist is right for you. During your appointment, consider the following:
A cavity is a small hole that forms inside the tooth because of tooth decay. Cavities are formed when plaque buildup on the outside of the tooth combines with sugars and starches in the food you eat. This produces an acid that can eat away the enamel on your tooth. If a cavity is left untreated, it can lead to more serious oral health problems. Cavities can be prevented by remembering to brush your teeth at least two times a day and floss between teeth at least once.
A filling is a synthetic material that your dentist uses to fill a cavity after all of the tooth decay has been removed. Fillings do not generally hurt because your dentist will numb your mouth with an anesthetic. Fillings are made from a variety of different materials, including composites, gold, or ceramic. If you need a filling, be sure to talk to your doctor about what type is best for you and your teeth.
Dental fillings are used to treat teeth that have cavities or decay. They can also be used to repair injured teeth that have fractures.
When a patient complains of a toothache, the very first thing the dentist does is to check for cavities and cracks. They do this by examining the tooth visually and with the use of X-rays. If the dentist finds that the tooth needs to be filled, then they fix the tooth.
After numbing the tooth, the dentist will use a dental drill to remove any decayed dental tissue in the inner tooth. They will then clean out the tooth with water before sealing the tooth with a dental filling.
With the help of the dentist, the patient will choose the type of filling that they prefer. They can choose from gold, silver, porcelain or dental resin fillings.
Because small cavities and mild tooth decay are found in the teeth of a large majority of Americans, dental fillings are the most performed dental procedure in the country.
Dental crowns are used to repair teeth that have been badly damaged by decay or injury. As a dental restoration, crowns are pretty much the only things that save damaged teeth from extraction. They are also used to correct cosmetic imperfections.
Usually, it takes two dentist appointments to complete the procedure, because most crowns have to be made in a dental laboratory.
Some general dentists are able to make the crowns themselves, however, and that makes it possible for a patient to get a dental crown placed in a single day.
Crowns restore teeth by covering them completely, which protects them from further infection or damage.
When a decayed tooth is too far gone to be saved, a general dentist will pull it out. When an impacted tooth tries to push past the gum and fails, the dentist removes it. The dentist will also remove a troublesome and painful wisdom tooth that will not make up its mind if it wants to grow or not.
If the problem tooth is above the gum, the dentist will remove it by loosening it from its bone socket and pulling it out. A tooth that is causing trouble under the gum is extracted with minor oral surgery.
The best and most permanent way to replace real teeth is with dental implants. The placement of dental implants involves minor oral surgery to place the implant into the patient’s jawbone.
Though the process takes a few months and several procedures to complete, the placement of dental implants gives the patient permanent artificial teeth. Implant-supported crowns and dentures work just like real teeth.
Braces are used to position the teeth in a way that makes them aesthetically pleasing and easy to clean. They are also used to correct bad bites that can make it hard to eat or talk.
Almost 80% of all braces worn today are used to align the teeth of people under the age of 18.