In the current age of information, it might be challenging to find a single person who doesn’t think dental care is quite essential. Despite the awareness, in real life, we often neglect oral hygiene and take action when visible tooth decay materializes in its most undesirable form – excruciating pain that is not responsive to medication. When the unfortunate happens, we all know the directions to our nearest dentist’s office.
Preventive care is key to… well, prevent further damage to your oral health, and the field of dentistry covers all critical approaches to ensure you get your dental act together. Pain, as agonizing as it may be, is only a symptom that alerts your body of something more sinister happening within your oral cavity. With that being said, what should you expect during your visit, and what is the magic that the dentist does to help you overcome your health concerns?
What Does a Dentist Do?
Assuming you have had your fair share of dental visits, you might be quite familiar with the infamous chair, the mysterious equipment that drills and is merely designed to torture, or the odd taste in your mouth once the treatment has been completed. If those are your past associations or terrifying stories you have heard, you are certainly missing out on the beauty of modern dentistry and, essentially, your health.
A dentist deals with the functioning, prevention, and treatment of teeth, periodontium, tongue, mucosa, and other oral cavity tissues. It is primarily vital within the dental profession to prevent dental diseases so that patients avoid the struggle of lengthy treatment and its consequences. Fundamentally, dentistry, like parents, teaches proper oral hygiene principles to the youngest and sometimes oldest patients.
Within dentistry, many subspecialties have arisen, focusing on specific problems related to the oral cavity. Most patients are treated as part of conservative care, which implements the removal of diseased tooth tissue and its reconstruction. However, you may need help in other areas of dental care, and dentistry does not remain behind the growth and advancement other professions experience. These fields may help you understand the comprehensive dental vocation:
Orthodontics is a field of dentistry that applies strategies to correct various malocclusions, treat dental abnormalities and maxillofacial defects. Previously, the orthodontist dealt primarily with children and adolescents. Although that remains true today, the development of orthodontics has made it possible to improve the appearance of mature teeth.
Orthodontic treatment not only enables the correct alignment of the teeth and malocclusions but also helps achieve the right proportions of the lower and middle parts of your face. If you have already lost your teeth and intend to fill their cavities with implants, a trained specialist will ensure you have enough space in your oral cavity for reconstructive purposes. This may happen when you have adjacent teeth tilted towards the inside of your mouth.
It is often incorrectly assumed that orthodontic therapy only aims at improving the aesthetics of the face. Proper tooth alignment enables adequate dental hygiene, thus protecting against tooth decay, improving the bite’s functionality, and reducing the tension in muscles and joints. Correct bite, on the other hand, guards against excessive tartar and periodontal disease.
Periodontics tackles periodontal diseases and other ailments related to the membranes of the mouth. A qualified dentist is responsible for treating all oral cavity parts that account for the proper placement of teeth, their immobilization, and protection. These elements include the gums, periosteum, alveolar bone, periodontium, and root cementum. Some of the most common diseases a specialist within that field treats include periodontitis and gingivitis. Although periodontal appointments remain the least visited by patients, studies show that more and more people qualify for the treatment, even among young adults.
Gums inflammation is the gum disease that develops most frequently. The bacteria that accumulate as a result of the increasing amount of dental plaque harm not only the enamel but also the soft tissues. If you do not practice proper oral hygiene and brush your teeth regularly, the build-up layer of plaque may lead to gingivitis. Its color becomes vivid red and, with time, may slightly darken. Swollen gums begin to bleed and slowly expose the tooth necks. This is how periodontitis develops. Consequently, your teeth lacking support begin to wobble, and if not treated promptly, the progressive gum recession will result in teeth loss.
Prosthetics is a dentistry branch that deals with reconstructing a patient’s teeth using modern, high-quality and durable synthetic materials. The purpose of these activities is to restore the functions of the chewing and speech apparatus, often for strictly aesthetic reasons. At Kelly Road Dental, we offer a wide range of prosthetic services tailored individually to patients’ needs, such as tooth restoration using porcelain crowns, bridges, dentures, and implants. Full and healthy dentition is a guarantee of health.
A good specialist is characterized by high manual dexterity since prostheses’ production involves the precise processing of materials. The prosthetist must have extensive expert knowledge and an eye for detail. Even slight defects lead to incorrect fit.
Pediatric dentists focus on the prevention and treatment of dental and periodontal diseases among the youngest patients. They should have appropriate knowledge, qualifications, and experience in working with children. Most adults have a different pain threshold than pediatric patients. They can endure more, don’t bounce in the chair, and hopefully don’t scream on top of their lungs. The child reacts more intensively, even if the treatments are virtually painless.
Regular dental visits are vital in children. The young patient can become familiarized with the dynamics of oral care, and the doctor can assess the hygiene and condition of existing and emerging teeth. Early detection of unfavorable habits, such as thumb sucking or pacifier use, will allow for quick treatment by eliminating dysfunctions and para-functions, using simple exercises or orthodontic appliances.
A dental surgeon is a doctor who performs a number of procedures related to the entire oral cavity area. The specialist addresses not only tooth extraction but often the reconstruction of lost soft and bone tissues. Examples of dental surgery expertise include:
- extractions of deciduous and permanent teeth,
- surgical removal of fully or partially retained teeth,
- microsurgical procedures, including those performed in preparation for prosthetic and implant procedures,
- Periodontal surgery – treatments aimed at rebuilding lost tissues and eliminating inflammations, root tip resections, and reconstruction procedures.
A periodic dental examination enables the assessment of personal oral hygiene, verification of the effectiveness of brushing and flossing, providing instructions, and determining the best methods. Your dentist may recommend the appropriate toothpaste and mouthwash for better outcomes.
If the dental plaque is not removed regularly, it hardens and forms tartar, which is the cause of periodontal diseases and contributes to tooth decay development. Professional cleaning with an ultrasound machine will tackle what regular toothbrushing cannot.
Gone are the days when the dental chair provided horrific experiences for patients. Modern dentistry empowers quick and effective resolution of most oral issues, providing painless and comforting alternatives. Prevention is key, so don’t let old recollections dictate your future.