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Dentistry is a profession that deals with oral health, including the treatment and prevention of diseases of the teeth and gums. A dentist online is a qualified professional who diagnoses, treats and helps prevent oral diseases by creating awareness among the public.
A dentist commonly carries out treatment procedures for dental caries, gum infection, pulpal pain, temporomandibular joint disorders, improper alignment of teeth and replacing missing teeth.
Depending on their area of expertise, dentistry has specialties namely oral medicine, oral radiology, oral and maxillofacial surgery, endodontics, periodontics, prosthodontics, dental public health, orthodontics, pedodontics, oral pathology, and oral implantology.
Dentists are allowed to prescribe medications that would help control pain and infection of the oral cavity. They may also need to use local anesthetics in some cases to prevent too much pain during a procedure.
Dentists also have a major role in the prevention of diseases by the means of educating, counseling as well as carrying out prophylactic procedures which are recommended to be done once every six months.
Dentistry is a rapidly growing field with new advancements in techniques and materials making it an ever-changing industry. Cutting-edge technologies such as laser, CAD/CAM, digital X-rays, and Invisalign are making dental treatments more precise and long-lasting.
Like every other field of medicine, dentistry has also moved to a virtual consultation platform where the dentist and patient can communicate with each other over a real-time video. This is a useful tool in preventing irrational dental fears by ensuring the patient is comfortable and peaceful before a procedure as well as after.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I need to go to the dentist regularly?
It is advisable to consult your dentist every 6 months. The progression of tooth decay and other dental problems is slow, so regular dental visits will help your dentist identify and treat a problem in the early stages. This prevents tooth pain and expensive advanced treatments. And getting fluoride varnish and scaling done every 6 months prevents most dental conditions.
What are the duties of a dentist?
The following are the role and duties of a dentist:
- Diagnosis, preventing, and treating dental problems.
- Identifying and treating oral growth, lesions, or cancer.
- Diagnosing and treating disorders of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).
- Educating patients about ways to maintain their oral hygiene.
- Performing cosmetic procedures to improve the patient’s smile.
- Identifying tongue-tie, cleft lip or palate, and abnormal frenum attachment in kids and adults.
- Performing prophylactic oral hygiene procedures (scaling and root planing, fluoride treatment, pits and fissure sealants).
What are the early signs of a dental problem?
Some of the early signs and symptoms of tooth problem are:
- Whitish or chalky patches in the teeth surface.
- Bleeding gums.
- Bad breath.
- Greyish-white plaque buildup on the teeth.
- Small and black pit on the tooth surface.
What to expect at the first dentist appointment?
During your first visit, the dentist will take a complete medical history and ask you questions about your symptoms. After this, he or she will check your teeth, gums, bite, and tongue. If needed, you might have to get a dental X-ray done. After co-relating the clinical and radiographic findings, your dentist will diagnose your condition and form a treatment plan.
Isn’t brushing enough, why should I floss?
Flossing is as important as brushing. Brushing removes food debris and plaque from all surfaces of the teeth expect in between two teeth. This place is inaccessible because of tight contact between adjacent teeth. And it is also the most common place where food gets lodged and caries starts. Flossing helps clean this inaccessible area.
Why is a dental X-ray necessary?
As only half of the tooth is visible outside the mouth and rest is embedded in the gums and jaw, your dentist will not be able to see the spread of infection or other pathology in this part. And to check for the extent of tooth decay, bone loss, periapical infection, impacted tooth, etc., a dental x-ray is necessary.
Why is fluoride important to dental health?
Fluoride is said to prevent tooth decay and the progression of dental caries. A limited amount of fluoride in water, if taken by kids, makes their teeth and bone stronger and comparatively more resistant to caries. And fluoride varnish and fluoridated-toothpaste help restore some of the minerals lost by the enamel, thus making them stronger.
What can be done for sensitive teeth?
The treatment options for sensitive teeth are:
- Using commercially available desensitizing toothpaste.
- Fluoride varnish.
- Gum grafting.
- Root canal treatment.
- Fluoride varnish.
- Applying bonding resin.
How long do the results of teeth whitening last?
The results of teeth whitening will last depending on how you take care of your teeth after treatment. Smoking, chewing tobacco, drinking soft drinks, improper brushing, and eating foods that can stain your teeth can restain your teeth. If maintained properly, whitening will last for approximately 2 to 3 years.
What is the difference between an orthodontist and a general dentist?
Orthodontist are dental doctors who specialize in aligning crooked teeth. They are the doctors who improve your smile and bite with the help of braces.