Maintaining the health of your teeth and gums is an important part of general health, and your dentist offers a range of services designed to keep your mouth in the best possible shape. Understanding the types of care that your dentist can provide and what issues he or she can treat and help prevent is key to getting the most out of every dental visit.
Here is a broad overview of the three major types of dental care and the specific services that fall under each category.
One of the main goals of your regular dental checkup is to prevent oral health issues from arising in the first place. While at-home brushing and flossing play a big role in preventative dentistry, having a dentist examine and thoroughly clean your teeth at least once a year is key to keeping your teeth and gums as healthy as possible. At your routine preventative checkup, your dentist and the dental hygienist will examine your teeth for any signs of decay or disease, check your jaw and bite for issues, evaluate your overall oral health and hygiene, and provide a complete cleaning. X-rays may be taken to help diagnose any problems with your teeth.
Restorative dentistry seeks to address any oral disease or tooth health issues that may arise despite your preventative efforts. This could include tooth decay, cracked or chipped teeth, discoloration or even missing teeth. Depending on the particular issue, a range of dental care services is available to address the underlying problem and restore your teeth to perfect health. Fillings can help remedy tooth decay as well as repairing broken, cracked or worn down teeth. Root canals help address and relieve injury to your dental pulp, while crowns can help strengthen teeth or fix issues with your smile. Sometimes tooth extraction is necessary in response to tooth disease, decay or trauma. In order to fill in gaps left by missing teeth, your dentist can provide you with a dental bridge or an implant to fill out your smile.
From time to time, you may face an injury to your teeth that requires emergency attention. This could include a broken, cracked or knocked out tooth caused by biting into something that is too hard, a fall or a sports-related injury to the face. Sometimes less obvious dental issues arise outside of normal business hours that still require immediate attention, such as severe tooth pain caused by an abscessed tooth. For any of these issues that need urgent care, many dentists offer emergency dental care services to address your tooth issues as quickly as possible.
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