General dentists can perform all the treatments patients need to keep their teeth and gums in good condition. Some treatments are obvious, such as routine exams, x-rays, and dental fillings, but others are more rarely needed. Here are some of the less common dental services that are no less important for their rarity:
1. Dental Filling And Crown Replacement
Dental fillings and dental crowns are used to protect teeth that have been treated for decay. Unfortunately, over time, some dental fillings and crowns can break or leak. A leaking filling or crown can allow bacteria to access a tooth, which can lead to further decay. It's important to have defective dental fillings and crowns replaced as soon as possible to prevent the need for more dental work. Fortunately, dentists can replace old fillings and crowns as needed. Patients can also elect to have their fillings or crowns replaced for aesthetic reasons, switching amalgam fillings or metal crowns for composite resin and porcelain varieties that more closely match the natural shade of the tooth.
2. Dental Scaling
Plaque can form on teeth in a matter of hours. It develops when sugar and bacteria combine in a person's mouth. Plaque is acidic, and it can corrode a person's teeth, leading to cavities. If plaque isn't removed in a timely manner through tooth brushing and flossing, it can harden into a substance called tartar. Dental scaling is a process that can remove hardened tartar from the sides of patients' teeth. A dental hygienist or dentist can use a dental pick to carefully scrape tartar from a patient's teeth. If the tartar buildup is especially bad, a dentist may also make use of electric tools, such as a dental drill.
3. Root Planing
Your oral health includes not only your tooth health but also your gum health. Your gums hold your teeth in place, and they can become diseased if bacteria are allowed to accumulate below their surface. Root planing is a dental procedure that allows dentists to clean the root pockets below your gums. Local anesthesia is used to keep patients comfortable while bacteria, plaque, and tartar are removed from below the gum line.
Your family dentist can provide these services to you upon request. If your dentist believes you can benefit from one or more of these treatments, they will recommend it to you at your next appointment. These treatments can protect you from cavities, halt the spread of decay, and keep your gums healthy.