Many people fear going to the dentist, and a major cause of this is being afraid of painful surgery and not knowing what to expect from different procedures. However, with access to the information, more people will feel comfortable to visit their local dentist and get the dental work that they need.

Fillings

Fillings are the most common dental procedure, and one that many people will experience in their lifetime. In fact, 1 million children under the age of five now have fillings, which shows that it is likely that you or someone in your family will have to experience fillings, if you have not already.

Having a filling is a simple procedure, where a mixture of metals such as zinc, tin, copper and silver are used to fill a hole caused by decay in your teeth. This stops the hole from getting any worse and becoming a larger cavity which may need further treatment, such as tooth extraction.

You should expect to be at the dentists for around an hour. 1 in 10 people in the UK have a severe fear of the dentist and one of the biggest reasons for this is fear of pain. However, the dentist will numb the cavity’s surroundings, such as your teeth, gum and skin to ensure that you do not feel any pain. Then, the dentist will drill the decay away from your tooth, creating the gap in which they will put a filling.

There are no side effects to this procedure; the process will be completely painless in most cases, too. You will often be asked what type of filling you would like, such as a metal or white filling, and your mouth will still feel numb for a couple of hours after the procedure.

Crowns

Dental crowns are small caps that cover the exposed part of your tooth. Their colour can be matched to the colour of your tooth if they are made from porcelain and metal. They can improve the appearance of a tooth, return a tooth to its previous shape and size, and protect your teeth from further damage.

There are many reasons why you may need to have a dental crown during your life. These include having a crown to cover a broken, weak or discoloured tooth, to support a tooth with a large filling, return teeth to their usual shape and to cover a dental implant.

You will most likely have to attend two dentist’s appointments to have the different types of crown fitted: one in which you will have a preparatory X-ray, and another in which the crown will be applied.

During your first appointment, the area surrounding your tooth will be numbed. Then, the tooth will be filed to ensure that there is enough space to place the crown on your tooth or filling material will be attached to your tooth to ensure the crown can be placed on your tooth. An impression will be made of your teeth to make sure that the crown will be right for your teeth and a temporary crown will be attached to your teeth. During your second appointment, the permanent crown will be cemented to your teeth.

Tooth Extractions

Tooth extractions may be needed by both adults and younger children. The causes for this range from an overcrowded mouth, to a badly decayed or damaged tooth that cannot be fixed by crowns or fillings.

However, tooth extractions do not have to be painful.

  1. Your dentist will put local anaesthetic on the affected area prior to the procedure via either injection or a gel, although in some severe cases, general anaesthetic may be needed.
  2. If needed, your dentist may cut away any gum or bone that is covering the tooth, and then they will use forceps to loosen the tooth in question enough to be pulled out gently from the bone and ligaments that it is attached to.
  3. They will then pad the area with gauze, which you should bite down on, and may sometimes use a few self-dissolving stitches.
  4. If you have a weakened immune system, you may need to take antibiotics before the procedure.

Your wisdom teeth may also cause you to have an overcrowded mouth or may appear not grow down correctly. This is usually a problem for young adults, and is not normally affected by any overcrowding you may have had when you were younger.

If you do have a problem, you will have to have your teeth extracted. Wisdom teeth removal costs around £150 on the NHS. This is much the same as other tooth extractions except that you might have to visit the hospital. The dentist may have to cut into your gum to remove the tooth, and in certain cases, the tooth may have to be removed in pieces. You may have swelling or bruising around your mouth for anything from a couple of days up to a few weeks afterwards.

Root Canal

You may need root canal treatment if the pulp inside the roots of your teeth becomes infected or starts to swell. This can be caused by a chipped tooth or repeated dental procedures on the same tooth.

Root canals take at least two appointments to complete and will be performed under local anaesthetic, unless the root is completely dead, whereby anaesthetic will not be needed. The process of a root canal is:

  • The dentist will put a dam over your mouth to stop you swallowing. Then, they will open the crown (the top) of your tooth to reach any infected pulp inside, which will then be removed.
  • Your dentist will clean and enlarge the narrow root canal using files so that it is ready to be filled.
  • On the first visit, they will fill your tooth with a temporary filling.
  • On your second visit, they will replace this with a permanent filling which prevents infection by sealing the tooth.

After this procedure, 90% of root-filled teeth survived for 8-10 years.

Braces

There are lots of reasons why you may need braces, but these include if you have crooked teeth or a crowded mouth. You will normally have braces for 18 months to 2 years, and you may have to wear a retainer for some time after the procedure.

Having braces put on your teeth can take between 1 and 2 hours.

Firstly, the orthodontist will clean and dry your mouth. Then, they will put bonding glue on each of your teeth and attach each of the brackets to this glue. The archwire will be attached between the brackets and the orthodontist may also attach plastic bands to these for extra support.

Your mouth may be sore for up to a week afterwards and you may only be able to eat soft foods during this time. You may also be susceptible to mouth sores, which you can prevent through orthodontic wax and avoiding touching or sucking on your sores.

You will have to visit the orthodontist every 6 to 8 weeks to check on your progress, which may include adjusting the braces.

Tooth Whitening

You may wish to have your teeth whitened if they are discoloured, which can occur due to age, environment, and lifestyle habits such as smoking and drinking caffeinated drinks. 40% of the UK are unhappy with their teeth, which can lead to a surge in cosmetic procedures such as whitening.

Although many people opt for home whitening kits, tooth whitening can be performed at your local dentist and can take 2-3 sessions over 3-4 weeks.

On your first visit, the doctor may take an impression of your teeth to make the mouthguard. On the next visits, the dentist will put a guard on gums to protect them from the bleach, and then they will place a mouthguard containing the bleach onto your teeth. This is normally hydrogen or carbamide peroxide. As this is broken down, oxygen is able to access your teeth and this will lighten their colour. You will then most likely have to continue this treatment at home.

Implants

Dental implants are metal frames that allow dentists to place replacement teeth in your mouth. Replacement teeth act in a very similar way to teeth and can build up a coating of debris and bacteria. They are used to replace missing or extremely broken teeth. Implants allow dentures and bridges to remain more securely in your mouth and allow you to use your mouth more naturally than many other types of denture. To have these, you must have a good bone structure and dental care routine.

Dentists will:

  1. Give you anaesthetic before making small cuts in your gums and drilling a hole in the bone which will hold the implant.
  2. Fix the implants straight into your jawbone

Dentures

If you have gaps in your teeth or missing teeth through decay or an accident, you may need dentures to help you to speak and eat efficiently. You may need either a complete set of dentures, when all of your upper or lower teeth will be false, or partial dentures, which may only mean the replacement of a few teeth.

On your first visit, the dentist will make an impression of your teeth and then send this off to a dental technician who will create your dentures for you. Then, a trial denture will be fitted in your mouth to see if the dentures will be the right fit for you. If you need partial dentures, these will often be clipped to your mouth with metal grips that can be easily removed or altered.

The fact that 15 million people wear dentures in the UK prove that getting dentures is not something to be afraid of, and many people suggest how positively it has affected the way that they act and appear to others.

Veneers

Unlike crowns, dental veneers cover only the front of the affected tooth and can help to improve their appearance, shape and colour. They are made out of porcelain or composite resin and you may need these if your teeth have been damaged or you have gum disease.

It will take a number is visits to the dentist to get veneers.

Firstly, the dentist will take an x-ray of your teeth, and then they will shear a millimetre of enamel off the tooth that is going to have the veneer attached to it. They will take a mould of your tooth which may take over a week to return to the dentist.

When the veneer is about to be attached, your dentist will clean and roughen the surface of the teeth to make it easier to attach the veneer. The veneer is attached with cement and hardened with ultra-violet light. These veneers will then last for around five years before your dentist will need to replace them, and you will need to follow your normal dental care routine in this time.

If you run a dental practise and are looking for the right dental supplier to provide you with the correct equipment to perform some of these procedures, Kent Express offers a trustworthy and reliable service with a 99% fulfilment rate. Their trusted team of advisors can inform and work with you to establish the best equipment for your means and to give your clients the best experience possible.

 

Visiting the dentist regularly is the best step to discovering issues with your teeth early and enable you to get intervention before your situation worsens. According to 2017 NHS data, just over 50% of the adult population in the UK visited a dentist. Much of this avoidance of the dentist is due to fear of the possible procedures that patients may have to have if a dentist examines their teeth.

However, most dental procedures will be harm free and have a short recovery time, with a maximum of 2 hours in the dentist’s chair. Having the right knowledge about dental procedures can reduce the fear of common dental procedures and encourage people to visit the dentist.

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