When was the last time you attended a dental appointment? In case it was more than a year ago, you have to schedule a visit to have your teeth checked. Dental examinations are performed by general dentists, which provide a variety of other services. Unlike dental specialists, general dentists focus on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of dental issues.
Experts in general dentistry provide teeth cleaning, cavity fillings, root canal treatment, tooth extraction, diagnostic services, and other procedures to patients. The majority of dental offices in Texas, such as Lancaster Family Smiles of DeSoto, offer preventative, restorative, cosmetic, and emergency services.
Read more about the most common dental services in detail.
Dental exams and teeth cleaning
Diagnostic and preventative services are a constituent part of general dentistry. Texas residents are recommended to have their teeth cleaned and examined at least twice annually in order to prevent cavities, gum disease, and other dental conditions from developing. For instance, X-rays are a common form of diagnostics, used to detect invisible damage.
Oral cancer screenings are recommended once annually for the purpose of detecting oral cancer. Such screenings are useful for the diagnosis of cancerous cells in the throat, mouth, lips, gums, tongue, and sinuses. In contrast, gingivitis screenings aim to detect gingivitis and periodontal disease, which might lead to bone loss if not diagnosed early.
The role of preventative dentistry is to maintain optimal oral health in patients by practicing regular plaque and tartar removal, stain removal, expert flossing, fluoride treatment, etc. By using tiny instruments, general dentists in Texas eliminate the accumulated plaque and tartar on the enamel, a treatment known as scaling. Afterward, teeth are polished with a gritty paste for stain removal and a shiny look.
Fluoride treatment, on the other hand, is used for the prevention of tooth decay. This mineral promotes enamel health and eliminates bacteria, applied in the form of foam, gel, or varnish. Click here to learn more about fluoride treatment.
Cavity fillings are a common dental service performed by general dentists in the state of Texas. The purpose of dental fillings is to impede food and bacteria from entering spaces inside teeth, as well as fix any chipped or broken teeth. There are six classes of cavities, all of which might result in tooth loss. Besides toothache, cavities cause tooth sensitivity, holes, and dark stains.
General dentists in DeSoto, Texas use three types of direct dental fillings, made from different materials. For example, composite fillings are most popular in patients, as their color is almost identical to the color of natural teeth. Conversely, silver amalgam fillings are considered more durable, given their strong resistance to cavities. Anyhow, these aren’t capable of blending with the other teeth of patients, hence mainly used to repair the back molars.
Ultimately, glass ionomer fillings are tooth-colored but lack the durability of composite and amalgam fillings. The acids and glass particles used in their production are capable of releasing fluoride, thus playing an important role in the prevention of cavities.
Root canal treatment
In the event of seriously damaged teeth, general dentists in Texas perform a root canal treatment. When the pulp of the tooth is inflamed or infected, dentists need to remove it in order for the tooth to function normally. The pulp chamber contains blood vessels, nerves, and tissue, sensitive to any kind of thermal stimulation.
Patients can easily recognize the signs of an infected pulp, such as throbbing toothache, abnormal sensitivity, gum tenderness, tooth discoloration, and a deep cavity. In order for a root canal procedure to be completed, patients have to attend three appointments.
When visiting the dentist for the first appointment, the patient has his/her tooth numbed and the pulp extracted. Once the pulp is removed, the dentist applies gutta-percha to the root. In the course of the second visit, the dentist cleans the root canal, seals it, and places a temporary filling. During the last appointment, a crown is used to protect the tooth from further damage.
General dentists in Texas are trained in performing simple extractions, which usually requires no special techniques for pulling a tooth out. These extractions involve no incisions, hence completed in a matter of minutes. Although general dentists are qualified to perform surgical extractions, these are better conducted by oral surgeons.
Surgical extractions are required in the case of broken or fragile teeth, involving a higher risk of complications. The amount of risk depends on the tooth’s location, the length of the roots, and bone thickness. Additionally, many adults decide to have their wisdom teeth extracted, as these are infamous for causing dental problems.
Everyone is supposed to have a family dentist to visit for regular check-ups and treatments.
Choose a professional you trust!