Dental treatments can seem daunting, with various procedures and options available. With the help of your dentist, you can decide which treatment is right for you based on the severity of your dental issue and your personal preferences. You can also learn about the different dental treatments available and what to expect during each procedure.
Here are some common dental treatments that you may consider.
1. Dental Fillings
Your dentist may recommend a simple filling if you have a minor dental issue, such as a small cavity. This treatment involves removing the decay from your tooth and then filling the resulting hole with a tooth-colored material. Fillings can also be used to repair cracked or chipped teeth. This procedure is typically quick and easy, and you can usually return to your normal activities immediately after the filling is complete.
Some people prefer to have their fillings made from composite resin, which can match the color of your natural teeth. Other filling materials include amalgam (a metal alloy) and gold. You can discuss the pros and cons of each type of filling with your dentist.
2. Dental Veneers
When you have a dental issue that is more cosmetic, such as a stained or chipped tooth, your dentist may recommend dental veneers. Veneers are thin devices that mimic the tooth’s color and are bonded in front of your teeth. This treatment can improve the appearance of your smile and make your teeth look more uniform.
You will need to visit your dentist for two appointments when you get this treatment. During the first appointment, your dentist will prepare your teeth for the veneers by removing a small amount of enamel. Then, you will be given temporary veneers to wear while your permanent veneers are being made. Once your permanent piece is ready, you will return to the dentist to have them bonded to your teeth.
3. Dental Crowns
If you have a tooth that is severely damaged, your dentist may suggest getting dental crowns. A crown is an artificial tooth that is placed over your existing tooth. This treatment can restore your tooth to its original shape and size and improve its function and appearance.
Not everyone is a candidate for a dental crown. If your tooth is too damaged to be repaired with a filling but insufficient to warrant an extraction, your dentist may suggest a root canal followed by a dental crown. The procedure for getting a dental crown typically takes two appointments. But in some cases, your dentist may be able to place a same-day crown.
4. Dental Implants
Unlike other dental treatments that only address the visible portion of your tooth, a dental implant replaces your entire tooth—root and all. This treatment is ideal for people who have lost a tooth due to injury or disease. Many people also prefer dental implants to dentures or bridges, as they look more stable and natural.
A dental implant is a small metal post placed in your jawbone. Once the implant has bonded to your bone, an artificial tooth (crown) is placed on top. The entire process can take several months, but it is worth the wait for a long-lasting, natural-looking tooth. You will need to visit your dentist for several appointments when getting dental implants, but some dentists also specialize in a same-day treatment procedure.
5. Teeth Whitening
Many people want to achieve a brighter, whiter smile. While many at-home teeth whitening kits are available, the most effective way to whiten teeth is to visit your dentist for professional treatment. This treatment uses a stronger bleaching agent than those available over the counter and can achieve noticeable results in just one visit.
But if you will be whitening your teeth, it is essential to do so before you get any other dental work done. The bleaching agent can cause dental work, such as fillings and crowns, to become discolored. So if you are planning on getting other dental treatments, whiten your teeth first.
Invisalign is a popular alternative to traditional metal braces. This treatment uses clear, plastic aligners to gradually straighten your teeth. One of the benefits of Invisalign is that the aligners are virtually invisible, so no one will know you are wearing them.
You must visit your dentist or orthodontist for regular appointments to get Invisalign. The number of appointments you will need will depend on the severity of your dental issue. But on average, people who get Invisalign must visit their dentist every six weeks.
Many different dental treatments are available to improve your teeth‘ appearance and function. But not every treatment is suitable for everyone. Be sure to talk to your dentist about which treatment is right for you. You can also ask about payment plans or financing options to make dental treatments more affordable.