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When you go to an appointment with your dentist, the unknown can be worrisome. The anticipation may cause anxiety and worry- often over the simplest of dental procedures. If you are going to your dentist’s office, here is what you can expect: 

Cleanings  

A dental cleaning procedure, also known as dental prophylaxis, is a routine preventive dental treatment that involves the removal of plaque, tartar, and stains from the teeth. During the procedure, a dental hygienist or dentist uses specialized instruments to clean the teeth and gums, helping to maintain oral health and prevent issues like cavities and gum disease.

Teeth Whitening  

Tooth whitening procedures are cosmetic treatments designed to brighten and lighten the color of teeth. This is typically achieved by applying a whitening agent, such as hydrogen peroxide, to the teeth, which breaks down and removes stains, resulting in a whiter and more aesthetically pleasing smile. There may be sensitivity to the whitening solution, which could cause temporary discomfort, but most patients report that it is easy and worth the effort. While you can whiten your teeth at home with over-the-counter kits, nothing compares to a professional whitening at your dental provider’s, using a special light and hydrogen peroxide gel.  

Extractions  

Dental procedures like a tooth extraction can be uncomfortable; however, most dentists take extra effort to minimize the discomfort and keep you relaxed. Sometimes, a tooth must be pulled, often as part of a multi-phase dental plan. The area around the tooth will be numbed during the procedure, and in some cases, patients may be sedated or under anesthesia. There will be some sensitivity and soreness afterward, but it is nothing compared to the pain of a bad tooth.  

Fillings  

Perhaps the second most common dental procedure after a traditional cleaning is a filling for a cavity. Cavities occur when acids erode and compromise the enamel of a tooth. This results in exposed nerves and pulp that can make it very painful- particularly when eating or drinking. Filling a cavity is typically quick and your dentist will numb the area first, so you should not feel any pain during the procedure.

Crowns  

Sometimes, a traditional filling won’t work for a cavity, and you may need a crown. This often requires two dental visits, one involving the creation of a mold, and the second for fitting and securing the crown. Getting fitted for the crown may be a bit uncomfortable, not painful, and the second phase should be quick and pain-free.   

Root Canal  

If you need a root canal, the chances are good that you are in some significant dental pain. The process of a root canal is complex, and it may seem scary. This involves your dentist removing infected nerves and tissue under the tooth or teeth- and is typically preceded by a round of antibiotics. Know that you will be numb during the procedure, so it should be painless- and with the infection gone, you should be much more comfortable afterward, too.  

Bonding  

A tooth bonding dental procedure is a cosmetic treatment in which a tooth-colored resin material is applied to a tooth and then hardened with a special light, bonding it to the tooth’s surface. This process is used to repair minor imperfections like chips, cracks, or gaps, to protect and recover the damage and can enhance the appearance and strength of the tooth. While not uncomfortable, this procedure can take some time. 

Schedule your appointment today at Old Mt Pleasant Dentistry, in Mt Pleasant, SC. We are a family dental practice, and we are committed to your oral health and care with pain-free Waterlase technology. Call or visit today to discuss our dental procedures!