Dentists are doctors who treat problems involving the mouth, teeth, and gums. They can help prevent dental infections and other oral diseases. Dental diseases can have a serious impact on your overall health, so it’s important to visit the dentist regularly. Visiting the dentist also provides you with an opportunity to catch problems early, when they are easier to treat.
In addition to teeth, the oral cavity is home to normal flora and bacteria. These bacteria produce acids that break down the enamel of your teeth. If left untreated, dental caries can cause pain, infections, and even nerve damage. However, good oral hygiene can help prevent these types of dental problems. A dental exam is recommended once every six months.
Some people are at higher risk of developing oral infections, like those with diabetes. This is because the body’s ability to fight off bacteria is affected by diabetes. People with diabetes have also been found to have an increased risk of periodontitis, an infection of the gums that can lead to tooth loss.
During a dentist’s examination, a dental x-ray may be taken to identify potential problems. The dentist will then recommend a course of treatment, including antibiotics or other medications.
Tooth crowns are often used to restore damaged teeth. Crowns are either permanent or removable. Both types of crowns are designed to cover the top of the tooth and fill the space that is left behind by the natural tooth. Usually, a crown is a two-visit procedure.
Dental fillings are another type of dental procedure. They are used to fix holes, cracks, and other types of damage in your teeth. Fillings are made of materials such as composite, metal, or amalgam. When the dentist inserts the filling, the gums around the affected area are numbed. It usually takes about an hour for the procedure to be completed.
Root canals are another dental procedure. Root canals are performed when there is tooth decay. To perform the procedure, the dentist will first remove the damaged tissue in the tooth and surrounding blood vessel tissues. Next, the dental professional will then fill the affected area with pulp. Once this is complete, the tooth will be sealed.
Dental implants are also available. Surgically implanted into the jawbone, a dental implant is a device that replaces a missing tooth. An implant is usually attached to a dental bridge or abutment crown.
The field of dentistry is divided into many sub-specialties. Among them, dental public health studies the effects of oral health policies on the population. There is also anesthesiology, which focuses on advanced use of general anesthesia. Additionally, evidence-based dentistry deals with the use of scientific data and current research in the treatment of dental and other oral diseases.
The American Dental Association represents more than 157,000 members and is the voice of the dental profession. The organization works to advance the profession on a national level. Founded in 1931, the association is dedicated to improving the quality of dental education and practice.