It is not unusual to feel scared or intimidated when visiting your general dentist. The various sounds can all be a lot to handle. People stare into your mouth, and it feels like you are under a microscope. When you add the bright lights, it can be downright scary.
Staying informed keeps patients comfortable
Sometimes, it helps to know the typical experience to be better prepared. General dentists perform various procedures, so it is possible that any of these can happen at a visit. There may also be recommendations about what needs to be done. Here are four different yet standard procedures that every dentist performs.
1. Teeth cleanings
Perhaps the most common procedure done by dentists and dental hygienists everywhere is teeth cleaning. Most dentists recommend cleanings every six months to a year. Getting teeth cleaned regularly is a crucial part of good dental health. Even for those that brush and floss regularly, there is no substitution for a good dental cleaning. Cleanings are also preventative measures to keep gum disease at bay.
Cavities happen, and even with good dental hygiene, getting a cavity is not unusual. Highly acidic or sugary foods and drinks erode the enamel over time, so cavities can happen to anyone. Sometimes, cavities can be painful, so when a patient complains of pain, that is the first thing a dentist checks. When a patient has a cavity, the first course of action is a filling. Fillings are quick to apply and set, but the whole procedure does not take more than about an hour. Pressure during the process is not uncommon, and there can also be some discomfort after.
Discolored, broken, cracked, or crooked teeth can all benefit from veneers. Veneers are a popular solution to fix certain issues. The front section of a tooth has some enamel removed, and then a shell is placed on top with a permanent adhesive. The shell is the veneer, and it looks like the original tooth. Veneers can be made whiter to brighten teeth or matched with existing tooth color. Applying veneers is an easy procedure for dentists, and getting it done does not hurt either.
Sometimes, cavities get too big for fillings when the decay gets to be extensive. Cracked teeth can also be too difficult to handle with the original tooth, so that is when crowns are the answer. Crowns take a couple of visits to get placed. In the first visit, the tooth is prepped, X-rayed, and imprinted. A temporary crown is put in, and a couple of weeks later, the permanent crown is ready to be set. The procedure at each visit does not take long, so patients should not expect to be in the chair for more than an hour at a time.
Procedures a general dentist performs
There are other procedures that a dentist performs, but as primary dental care practitioners, they have various issues that get worked on. The four procedures listed above are only a few general dentist’s activities since they do not specialize in a specific field. Armed with the knowledge to fight against dental issues, dentists are ready to help you deal with any anxiety you may also have. Do not be afraid to ask any questions so that the dentist can communicate about what to expect.
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