There are a lot of unfamiliar terms you might hear when you’re at a dentist’s office or researching dental procedures online. If you’re going to work with your dentist to find the best solutions for your oral health, it’s important you understand a few of the most commonly used ones. Of course, the best thing you can do is simply ask a dentist to elaborate when he or she uses a term you don’t understand. But here are a few frequently asked dental questions to get you started:
- What is a Root Canal?
Root canals are probably the most-feared procedure in all of dentistry, but with little cause — in fact, a root canal usually doesn’t hurt at all. During a root canal, a dentist removes infected pulp inside your tooth and replaces it with a synthetic material. This can make extracting an infected tooth unnecessary.
- What is a Crown?
Dental crowns are caps that encircle teeth. They are most frequently used when a large cavity or multiple cavities in a tooth place it at risk for infection or damage. Normally, the process includes taking a dental impression that is used to fabricate a crown that is precisely sized and shaped. This is then bonded to the tooth using dental cement.
- What is a Dental Veneer?
Dental veneers are thin shells that are fitted over existing teeth in order to correct the appearance of staining, chipping or misalignment. They are normally made of ceramic, and are used primarily on the front teeth. It’s important to note that while veneers can instantly transform a smile into the white, straight ideal, they do not last a lifetime and require replacement after some number of years (anywhere between five and 20).
- What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a piece of metal (usually, though some other materials are occasionally used) that is actually inserted below the gums and into the bone. A prosthetic of some kind is then attached to the top of the implant. Dental implants serve an important function by replacing tooth roots; since tooth roots stimulate bone renewal in the jaw, dental implants can preserve overall oral health.
- What is a Permanent Denture?
Permanente dentures are simply dentures that are anchored using dental implants. Removable dentures, on the other hand, are often attached to remaining teeth and fitted to your gum and bone structure. Permanent dentures are now the more highly recommended choice for most patients.
What are some other questions you’d like to ask a dentist about dental technologies? Have you ever been hesitant to ask a dentist to explain a procedure, or are you comfortable asking for more information? Share your responses in the comments.