Preventive dental services can help prevent existing problems and catch them before they worsen. They are typically covered by insurance at 100%.
States can improve access to oral health care by relaxing supervision requirements, allowing mobile providers to provide services, and making it easier for patients to get a prescription. They can also increase funding for oral health programs.
X-rays use safe levels of radiation to produce images of tissues, bones, and teeth. They are often used to detect abnormalities, such as bone fractures or cavities. They may also be used to help diagnose conditions like tumors, cysts, or heart disease. X-rays are typically painless and quick. They require you to remain still so the image doesn’t blur, and they can be done at any healthcare provider or dentist with an X-ray machine.
Some types of X-rays involve the use of a contrast agent. Depending on the type of X-ray you need, you might be asked to drink a liquid or chew a pill before the test. There is a small risk from exposure to the radiation, but the benefits of this imaging procedure far outweigh any risks. X-rays are usually carried out in hospital radiology departments or at healthcare providers’ offices.
Dental checkups are a necessary part of maintaining healthy teeth and gums. They can help patients catch small problems before they develop into bigger ones, such as cavities. They can also identify destructive habits, like clenching and grinding your teeth (bruxism), that lead to tooth wear and jaw bone loss.
During the dental checkup, dentists will take x-rays of the mouth to detect decay, cysts, tumors, shifting teeth, or other abnormalities. They will then examine the soft tissues of the mouth for any cuts, swelling, or sores.
Dentists will also check your lymph nodes in the neck area for any signs of infection or disease. This is an important part of the dental checkup because swollen lymph nodes can be an indicator of cancer, leukemia, and other diseases. They will also take your blood pressure during the exam to give them a picture of your overall health.
In addition to daily brushing and flossing, patients should also receive routine dental cleanings. These procedures, called prophylaxis, remove harmful plaque and tartar buildup from the surfaces and between teeth.
When left unattended, plaque and tartar can cause tooth decay and gum disease. Regular cleanings help prevent these issues from occurring, allowing patients to maintain healthy smiles for life.
Teeth cleanings also help to prevent bad breath caused by hardened plaque and tartar. They can also be helpful in preventing a number of serious health problems, including heart disease and diabetes complications. Preventative care like routine cleanings can save patients a lot of time, stress, and money in the long run. Keeping up with these twice-yearly appointments is crucial for good oral and overall health.
Fillings are an effective solution for patients suffering from cavities and small fractures in their teeth. They stop the spread of bacteria, restoring the tooth’s original shape and improving bite function.
After numbing the area, the dentist removes decayed parts of the tooth and cleans them. Next, the composite resin is applied in layers. After each application, a special light cures it, forming a strong bond with the tooth. The composite is shaped to match the tooth and improve its appearance without altering the patient’s bite.
Other types of tooth-colored fillings exist, such as ceramic and glass ionomer, which are more resistant to staining than composite resin. However, these options generally require additional visits and are more expensive. Amalgam fillings have been used for more than 150 years, but they are not recommended for pregnant women or children.
Dental crowns are tooth-shaped caps that fit over a damaged or decayed natural tooth. They are custom-designed to comfortably fit in a patient’s mouth and are held in place with dental cement.
A crown not only saves a damaged tooth, but it also covers and protects the existing natural teeth and helps to prevent further damage or discomfort. They can even help correct discoloration, misalignment, and misshapen teeth.
After a dentist prepares the tooth by cleaning and removing any diseased areas, they will create an impression of the tooth and surrounding area to be used in the creation of the crown. Once this is complete, they will place a temporary crown on the tooth until the permanent one is ready at an off-site lab. Once the crown is ready, patients return to the office to have it cemented in place.
Veneers are wafer-thin porcelain or resin composite shells that cover the front of teeth to improve a person’s appearance. They can make teeth appear longer, wider, or more even in color. They can also correct chipped or cracked teeth.
Before placing veneers, your dentist cleans the tooth or teeth to remove bacteria and plaque. They then trim a small amount of the tooth enamel to allow for the proper placement of the veneers.
Veneers are an excellent choice for a patient who wants to improve their smile in just two visits. However, they are not for everyone. People with gum disease or other dental issues may be more at risk of problems with their veneers. These conditions can lead to the need for alternative restorations like crowns or cosmetic bonding. Also, veneers are not a permanent solution and will eventually need to be replaced.
Replacing missing teeth with implants is a safe and durable option for patients. They help them eat and speak normally while also preventing bone resorption and the loss of jaw structure.
They are also more appealing than bridges or dentures. They look more like natural teeth and do not damage nearby teeth. However, dental implants are more expensive upfront than other treatments.
Patients can qualify for implants if they have good general and oral health, adequate bone structure to hold an implant, and are committed to a healthy lifestyle and regular visits to their dentist. A consultation with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon is required to develop a comprehensive treatment plan. The surgeon may also suggest a temporary restoration while the patient waits for his or her permanent implant to heal. Most implant systems have a high success rate.
Orthodontics is a specialized branch of dentistry that addresses the diagnosis, prevention, and correction of misaligned teeth and jaws. It’s also referred to as dentofacial orthopedics and can correct many facial irregularities, including severe malocclusions that could lead to dental, skeletal, and overall physical problems such as digestive difficulties, TMJ pain, poor oral hygiene, crooked teeth, and severe tooth decay.
While many people associate orthodontics with those heavy, visible metal braces that you may remember from your childhood or teenage years, modern treatments offer a range of more discreet options for adults. Your orthodontist near Midtown, Kansas, will be able to recommend the right treatment for you. The most common method is fixed devices that consist of brackets and bands that straighten your teeth while being tightened during follow-up appointments. Other types of fixed appliances include clear-colored ceramic braces and headgear.
Although they have a bad reputation, dentures are an effective treatment for patients who are missing teeth. They restore their appearance, make chewing and speaking easier, and support the muscles of the jaw and chin so they don’t lose tone.
The process of getting dentures involves making impressions or molds of the oral tissues to ensure a comfortable fit and a natural look. Once they’re ready, the dentist or clinical dental technician will try them on to assess the fit and determine if the shape and color need to be adjusted.
A removable partial denture consists of an acrylic base that matches the gum’s color, with replacement teeth clipped to a metal framework with clasps that cling to the remaining natural teeth. They help with eating and speaking, but it may take time to get used to them.