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Frequently Asked Questions
IntroductionDentists are medical professionals who diagnose and treat a wide range of conditions that occur with the teeth, oral mucosa, and disorders of the jaw, such as TMJ. There are several areas of dentistry that include orthodontics, pediatric, oral and maxillofacial surgery, and cosmetics.People visit the dentist for basic wellness check-ups and exams, dental treatments for issues such as gum disease and periodontitis, and restorative cosmetic procedures. Dentists help patients with various issues, ranging from filling cavities and straightening teeth with braces to tooth extractions and treatment for conditions such as bruxism, also known as teeth grinding.When left untreated, conditions such as cavities and damaged or cracked teeth can lead to abscesses and infections, and dentists help by treating and preventing further damage.
Is it safe to go to the dentist?
It's safe to go to the dentist, even during the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to the strict infection control guidelines that dentists have followed for many decades. At all times, dentists follow ADA and CDC protocols to ensure patient safety.
When should a baby go to the dentist?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry advises parents to schedule the first dental visit within six months of the first tooth erupting and one year of age for all infants. Babies should also visit the dentist for emergencies, such as cracked or broken teeth.
Why does a child need sealants?
Pediatric dental sealants are applied to the teeth to work as a barrier and provide protection from decay and bacteria. Sealants also work to prevent small food particles from settling in the grooves of the teeth, which can lead to the development of cavities.
Can you go to the dentist while pregnant?
It's safe for women to continue with regular dental visits while pregnant. During pregnancy, hormonal changes can affect the gums and teeth, leading to inflammation and gingivitis. Regular cleanings and checkups can help keep hormonal dental issues at bay.
How do dentists pull teeth?
Dentists pull teeth through simple and surgical extractions. Simple extractions are performed at the dentist's office with local anesthetic and forceps. Surgical removal is required for broken teeth and teeth that have not erupted, such as wisdom teeth. Surgical procedures require stronger anesthetic or sedation, and forceps are used to remove the teeth.
What kind of dentists are there?
There are seven primary areas of dentistry.
- General dentistry covers a wide scope, with procedures ranging from general exams and X-rays to deep cleanings and simple extractions.
- Pedodontists, or pediatric dentists, have a primary focus on infants and children.
- Orthodontists handle braces and other procedures that straighten the teeth.
- Periodontists treat the gums and structures that support the teeth, such as bone and ligaments.
- Endodontists perform dental pulp treatments, such as root canals.
- Oral pathologists, or oral surgeons, focus on surgical procedures that include wisdom teeth extraction and dental implants.
- Prosthodontists handle highly complex restorative dental procedures, including bridge and denture placements.