At Greenvale Dental Group, we take pride in our expertise and commitment to providing comprehensive dental care. The thing about dental procedures is that they can be a bit intimidating for people.
That’s why, in this article, we’ll tell you what you need to know about some of our common dental procedures. That way, you know exactly what to expect.
Overview of the most common dental procedures
Your oral health is a vital component of your overall well-being, and understanding the various dental procedures available is key to making informed decisions about your dental care.
From routine check-ups to specialised treatments, dental procedures serve diverse needs and conditions. Whether you’re looking to maintain a healthy smile, address specific issues, or prevent future problems, knowing what to expect can alleviate concerns and help you prepare for your visit.
In the following sections, we provide an overview of the most common dental procedures, explaining what they entail and how they contribute to your long-term oral health.
Comprehensive oral examinations
A comprehensive oral examination is an in-depth assessment of your oral health. During this procedure, a dentist examines your teeth, gums, tongue, and the soft tissues in your mouth. This examination helps identify any potential issues, such as cavities, gum disease, or any other oral pathology. Expect a thorough visual inspection and sometimes the use of special tools like dental mirrors and probes to check for abnormalities. Dental x-rays may be necessary during the examination.
Routine dental check-ups
Routine dental check-ups are the foundation of good oral health. These regular visits typically occur every six months and include a comprehensive examination, cleaning, and X-rays when necessary. The dentist will check for any signs of dental problems, remove plaque and tartar, and provide guidance on oral hygiene practices to maintain your teeth and gums in top shape.
Scale and clean
A scale and clean is a professional teeth cleaning procedure that involves removing plaque and tartar buildup from your teeth using special instruments. The dental hygienist will also polish your teeth to make them smooth and shiny. This procedure helps prevent gum disease and keeps your smile looking its best.
Children’s dentistry focuses on the unique dental needs of kids. It includes dental check-ups, cleanings, and preventive measures like fluoride treatments and dental sealants. Childrens dentists create a friendly and welcoming environment to help children feel comfortable during their visits and teach them the importance of good oral hygiene habits. We can also assess dental development and the need for braces.
Dental fillings are used to treat cavities or areas of tooth decay. During this procedure, the dentist removes the decayed portion of the tooth and fills the space with tooth-coloured materials. This not only restores the tooth’s function but also prevents further damage.
Tooth extraction is the removal of a tooth from its socket. It is typically performed when a tooth is severely damaged, decayed beyond repair, or causing overcrowding issues. Depending on the nature of the procedure, extractions can be simple or complex. Local anaesthesia is administered to ensure minimal discomfort.
Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, often require extraction due to their tendency to become impacted or cause overcrowding. The extraction process involves numbing the area with anaesthesia, removing the tooth, and providing post-operative care instructions to minimise swelling and discomfort.
Root canal treatment (endodontics)
Root canal treatment is used to save a tooth with an infected or damaged pulp (the innermost part of the tooth). During the procedure, the dentist removes the infected pulp, cleans the inside of the tooth, and seals it. This treatment can alleviate pain and save the tooth from extraction.
Gum disease (periodontics)
Periodontal treatment focuses on preventing, diagnosing, and managing gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis. Procedures may include scaling and root planing to remove plaque and tartar from below the gumline, as well as surgical interventions for advanced cases. Maintaining healthy gums is crucial for overall oral health.
Dental X-rays are diagnostic tools that provide detailed images of the teeth, jawbone, and surrounding structures. They help dentists detect hidden issues such as cavities, impacted teeth, and bone abnormalities. Modern X-ray techniques use low radiation doses for safety, making them an essential part of accurate diagnosis and treatment planning. Patients can expect a brief and painless procedure with minimal exposure to radiation.
Tips for maintaining oral health after a procedure
Maintaining your oral health post-procedure is crucial for both immediate recovery and long-term well-being.
The first step is to adhere strictly to the post-procedure guidelines provided by your dentist, as these are tailored to your specific treatment and situation. Whether it’s avoiding certain foods, practising specialised oral hygiene techniques, or taking prescribed medications, following these instructions is essential for optimal healing.
General practices that should be part of your dental hygiene routine like:
- regular brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush;
- fluoride toothpaste; and
- daily flossing.
Diet modification is another key aspect; a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains not only promotes overall health but also benefits your teeth and gums. Limiting sugary snacks and incorporating an antimicrobial mouth rinse can offer additional protection.
Even after a successful dental procedure, it’s vital to continue with regular dental check-ups for cleanings and examinations. These visits allow your dentist to monitor your healing process and address any concerns before they escalate.
If you experience any unexpected symptoms like persistent pain, swelling, or bleeding, contact your dentist immediately. Remember, oral health care is a long-term commitment, and your dentist is your best resource for personalised advice and treatment.
At Greenvale Dental Group, we’re dedicated to supporting you throughout your journey to a healthier smile. Your oral health is our top priority, and we offer a comprehensive range of services to ensure you maintain a beautiful smile for years to come.
What are some frequently asked questions that we get about common dental procedures?
Do these procedures hurt?
The majority of these common dental procedures do not incur pain and are performed specifically to minimise discomfort. For certain procedures, dentists will take measures to mitigate pain, including;
- Local and topical anaesthetics
- Gentle techniques
- Nitrous oxide
- Oral sedatives
- Patient comfort measures
- Patient aftercare techniques, etc.
These pain-reducing measures will be outlined to you before any procedures take place. If you have any questions or concerns, you can raise them and your dentist will accommodate you however possible.
Why are common dental procedures so important?
Common dental procedures are essential for several reasons, as they contribute to overall oral health, well-being, and quality of life. Regular dental care helps individuals maintain their natural teeth, enjoy proper oral function, and smile with confidence.
These procedures are so important, because they:
- Preventing dental issues
- Maintaining oral health
- Pain relief
- Restoring function
- Preventing tooth loss
- Preserving natural teeth
- Correcting alignment
- Early detection of major dental problems
- Improved overall health
What kind of dental problems can these common dental procedures prevent?
Common dental procedures play a significant role in preventing and addressing various dental problems, each with their own debilitating symptoms, including:
- Tooth decay (cavities)
- Gum disease (periodontitis and gingivitis)
- Tooth loss
- Tooth erosion
- Tooth sensitivity
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Tooth abscess
- Oral infections
- Misalignment or malocclusion
- Tooth impaction
- Oral cancer
- Tooth fractures
- Jaw disorders
- Dental trauma
How long do these procedures take?
The duration of common dental procedures can vary based on the specific treatment, its complexity, and individual patients. On average, routine dental check-ups and cleanings typically take about 30-45 minutes. Dental fillings for one tooth may require 30 minutes to an hour, while more extensive procedures like root canals, crowns, implants or wisdom tooth extractions can take 1 or more, depending on the patient and the nature of the procedure .
In general, most common dental procedures can be completed within a single appointment, making them convenient for individuals with busy schedules. However, it’s important to note that more complex cases or treatments involving multiple teeth may require additional time and multiple visits. Your dentist will provide you with a clear timeline for your specific dental procedure during the consultation.
Where can I receive high quality dental care in Melbourne?
If you need any of these common dental procedures, contact us at Greenvale Dental Group and we will provide you with a modern, caring approach to your dental health.
Dr Soraya is the principal dentist and owner of Greenvale Dental Group with over 25 years’ experience in the field of dentistry.
Soraya’s areas of treatment include general dentistry, dental emergencies, dental implants, endodontics, cosmetic dentistry, and crown and bridge dentures.