Simple Descriptions of Common Dental Procedures

Going to the dentist can be a scary experience. It can be even scarier when you are told you need a dental procedure. You might not know exactly what it is? What actions will be taken and how long the effects of the procedure commonly last. Yet, knowledge is power. If you understand the basic and common dental procedures before you next scheduled visit, you will be armed with information, even if you don’t need it. Therefore, take a look at these simple descriptions of common dental procedures.


This may be something that is recommended by your dentist or it may just be a procedure you would like.

Whitening is also referred to as bleaching.

It helps to eliminate those everyday stains that may occur on our teeth enamel from smoking, drinking coffee and wine.

Usually, a dentist will use a customized tray that will make applying a whitening gel more effectively and precisely than we can with any home based product.



A cavity is a hole in one’s tooth caused by decay. Decay is caused by plague.

When one has a cavity a filling is used to fill the hole.

First, the dentist will have to remove the decay material (yes, a dentist drill may be used during this process) clean the area and then fill the cavity with a filling material.

This is a fairly quick procedure and numbing agents are generally used so the patient will feel no pain.

Crowns (caps)

A crown or a cap is used to cover a damaged tooth. These can be made from a variety of materials. Yet, most are made from ceramic or porcelain.

A crown can last up to 10 to 15 years, especially if you pay close attention to the things you chew, avoiding a lot of hard candy and ice for example.

Dental implants

Dental implants are used when a person is missing a few teeth. This could be due to an accident, bone loss or decay.

This process begins with a bone graft or surgical implantation of a metal post into the jaw. Then one will have to be patient for several months as the bone begins to form around the post. Once this happens, a crown can be applied.

Implants will take many dental visits.

One who has suffered from a lot of bone loss is not a good candidate for this procedure.

Dental Implants

Partial denture or bridge

Partial dentures or a bridge can be used if you are missing some teeth (an example would be if you lost your back teeth but still have your front ones).

Some people find partial dentures or bridges to be quite annoying and ill fitting, especially when they are trying to talk or eat.

These partial dentures fit in the mouth by the support of the remaining teeth, which are generally capped.

These can last up to 10 years.

Full dentures

Full dentures are used when one has had all his/her teeth removed. It will take many visits to have these made.

An impression is made of your mouth. This impression is then sent to a lab where your dentures are made. Once they are completed, you come back to the dentist for a fitting.

The best way to keep from ever having to experience these or any dental procedures is to get regular checkups with your dentist, as well as brush and floss your teeth regularly.