Your Guide to Common Dental Procedures

From fillings to root canals, knowing what to expect when you visit the dentist can help you prepare and make better treatment choices.

Whether you’ve never been to a dentist before or you’re simply seeing a new dentist for the first time, you can expect to get a thorough cleaning, a full examination, and X-rays.


Here is some information about what you can expect during your first visit to Oronoco Dental:


A Cleaning

Almost every dental checkup involves a cleaning from either the dentist or the dental hygienist. A dental hygienist uses special tools to remove built-up tartar and plaque from below the gum line. Built-up plaque and tartar are responsible for causing cavities, bad breath, gum disease, and more. Your hygienist and dentist may also floss and polish your teeth during the cleaning.


An Examination

Your dentist will examine your mouth, teeth, and gums for signs of gum disease and other issues. The purpose of the examination is to help you maintain excellent oral health and identify and treat issues before they become serious in nature.



In some cases, a dentist may recommend X-rays. Whether you get an X-ray will depend on your age as well as your risk factors for certain diseases. X-rays are able to diagnose issues that would otherwise go unnoticed. X-rays can identify cysts, tumors, impacted teeth, abscesses, damage to the jawbone, and decay between teeth. The machines used today at a modern dental office emit very little radiation. However, you will still be asked to wear a lead apron before you have an X-ray.

From there, it can be determined if and what further procedures are needed.


These are some of the most common dental procedures we encounter:


Dental Fillings

When tooth decay strikes and leaves behind cavities, dental fillings are the best way to halt the process and restore teeth to normal functioning. Take a look at just what materials are used to get this important job done.


Composite Resin Fillings

Composite resins closely mimic the look of healthy teeth to blend in well with the rest of your smile. Their ability to “cure” quickly and perfectly fit the shape of a tooth means that composite resin fillings take a relatively short amount of time to complete.

Although newer types of composite resin fillings are much stronger than those used in the past, they may still prove to be less durable than traditional metal amalgam fillings. Also, the composite resin has a greater tendency to stain over time than other tooth-colored filling options.


Amalgam Fillings

The most common type of dental filling material, dentists have used silver-colored metal amalgam for more than a century. Its biggest advantage comes from its practicality: Amalgam fillings are usually the least expensive option and can be more durable and longer lasting than more natural-looking options.

Unfortunately, because of their color, amalgam fillings stand out and are not always the best choice for teeth at the front of your smile. Also, in some cases, your dentist may need to drill a bigger hole to properly accommodate a new amalgam filling.


Gold Fillings

Because gold doesn’t tarnish or corrode, gold fillings last longer than other traditional filling materials, including amalgam. However, gold fillings are very expensive and usually required multiple visits to complete.


Porcelain Fillings

Ceramics, such as porcelain, look like normal teeth and are sometimes considered the most aesthetically pleasing option for fillings, as they are much less likely to stain and tend to retain their look over time. Unfortunately, porcelain is fairly brittle and these fillings often need replacement sooner than other types.

Not sure which is right for you? Make sure to contact us and schedule your appointment today!


Dental Implant

A dental implant is probably the best implant that you can buy. It can help you reclaim your smile and continue eating the food that you love. We have assembled three about dental implants that we believe you may want to know before you go for it.


Dental Implant Can Prevent Any Further Tooth Loss

Have you ever thought about the danger of losing a single tooth? Maybe yes, maybe no but if you lose a single tooth, that may be the beginning of losing your jawbone. The worst can happen if you don’t replace the tooth that you lost. The bone loss that you suffer may cause the adjacent tooth to become loose and drift out of position. If the trend continues, you will end up losing more tooth and more bone. You can easily preserve the bone by placing a dental crown on a dental implant. The crown helps to protect and maintain the adjacent teeth.


Dental Implants Allow You to Eat Everything

You probably quit eating certain foods due to traditional dentures. In some cases, it takes you a little longer to chew the food before swallowing it. Dental implants are so secure such that after having one, it won’t take you any longer to chew your favorite food before swallowing it. Dental implants generate a force close to that of natural teeth. In simple words, once you have a dental implant, you can decide to eat anything that you like without the fear of your dentures slipping loose while chewing.


Dental Implants are Good for Your Bone

A dental implant is especially useful to your jawbone. Biologically, your bones are made up of cells. As older cells die, new ones are generated to replace them. This is the reason why you can heal when you experience a broken bone.

The same thing happens with your jawbone. Your teeth are responsible for providing continuous simulation which ensures that there is continuous growth hence keeping your jaw strong and healthy. A dental Implant is like a set of “new” and more solid jawbone.


Dental Bridge

Your options for replacing a natural tooth that is decayed or missing include four types of dental bridges.

Many American adults are missing at least one permanent tooth. Fortunately, there are several options for filling in space, so to speak, with a false tooth—called a pontic—that is most commonly made of porcelain, gold, or an alloy.

Your options for replacing a natural tooth that is decayed or missing include four types of dental bridges, which quite literally bridge the gap created in your mouth.


Traditional Dental Bridges

The most common variety used today, traditional dental bridges are held in place by dental crowns adhered to the adjacent natural teeth, also known as the anchoring or abutment teeth. The anchoring teeth are prepared by having the enamel removed. Then, a set of crowns with a pontic between them are cemented on top, which offers protection and makes the bridge fairly secure.


Cantilever Bridges

Similar to traditional bridges, cantilever bridges differ in that they are secured to only one natural tooth. Other than that, they are applied in much the same way. The enamel is removed from the abutment tooth and it is topped with a crown. While the necessity of only one adjacent natural tooth makes this option versatile, the bridge can not withstand as much biting force and is not recommended for the back of the mouth.


Maryland Bridges

Rather than using dental crowns placed on top of adjacent teeth, Maryland bridges are comprised of a metal or porcelain framework containing a pontic. The device is bonded with resin onto the backs of the two abutment teeth. While the framework can be a nuisance at first, the benefit of this option is the natural teeth do not have to be filed or have their enamel removed.


Implant-Supported Bridges

The only real difference with this variety is the bridges are supported by dental implants, rather than frameworks or crowns attached to natural teeth, making them particularly strong and secure. The pontic is still suspended between the two implant-supported crowns. If you choose this option, you will undergo two surgeries. The first involves embedding the implant into your jawbone, with one implant for each missing tooth, and the second surgery places the bridge, meaning the whole process could take several months to complete.

Which type of dental bridge your dentist recommends could depend on a variety of factors, including the location in your mouth of the missing tooth and the health of the surrounding teeth. Fortunately, however, you have several options for replacing missing teeth in a way that looks and feels natural and comfortable.

Contact our office if you believe you may be in need of a dental bridge.


Root Canal Therapy

Root canal therapy refers to a treatment to repair and save badly infected or damaged teeth. It is an endodontic treatment. Endodontic treatment is a term used to refer to treatments treating the inside of the tooth. During a root canal procedure, the damaged or infected pulp is removed. The inside of the tooth is then cleaned and disinfected. After disinfection, the tooth is filled and then sealed. Root canal therapy comes from the cleaning of the canals found inside the roots of the teeth.


Does the Pulp Have to be Removed?

If the infected pulp is left in the tooth, it will break down and bacteria start multiplying in the tooth. The bacteria can quickly cause an infection. An infection in the tooth is known to cause;


Step by Step Through the Root Canal Procedure

A root canal is done in three steps;

The first step is cleaning the tooth done under local anesthesia. Through a small access hole on the surface, the dentist removes the dead pulp. Since the nerve tissue has been removed, the tooth is dead, and the patient cannot experience pain.

The second step is filling the root canal. After the inside of the tooth is clean and disinfected, the dentist fills the void using a rubber-like material, and with an adhesive cement, he seals the canals completely.

Next, a crown is added. After removing the pulp, the tooth becomes very fragile. The dentist will advise you to have a crown over the tooth to offer protection.

Saving the natural tooth with a root canal has its advantages such as maintaining the natural look. However, to avoid complications contact a credible dentist to conduct the procedure.


Bone Grafting

Bone grafting replaces missing bone in case of injury, infection, or disease. The bone grafting can be made of natural, artificial, or synthetic bone.


The New Bone is Surgically Attached to Bones Where a Stronger Bone is Needed.

Bone grafting works because bone can regenerate itself. The patient’s own bone gradually replaces graft material — eventually building up a new, strong section of bone;

In dentistry, bone grafting helps to make dental implants successful. If patients have a tooth extracted and want an implant, there must be sufficient bone in their jaw to support the implant.

Sometimes, the patient’s jaw isn’t thick enough to support an implant, or the bone is soft. In this case, the dentist uses a bone graft. After the graft is placed, the transplanted bone begins to grow new bone. Depending upon the size of the bone graft, an implant post along with the graft may be able to be done on the same visit. Larger bone grafts require separate healing steps.

The process of growing new bone, or “osseointegration,” which combines the patient’s own bone with the graft, can take several months. Once osseointegration is complete, the bone is strong enough to support the metal implant post just like a jaw supports the root of a natural tooth. At this point, the dentist can place the metal post that supports a dental implant. Not all dental implants require bone grafts, but they contribute to implant success and future dental health.

If you have any questions about the procedures listed above or believe you are in need of one of these, do not hesitate to contact our office.

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