10 Common Dental Procedures Explained

Common Dental Procedures

Going to the dentist may be seen as a daunting task for some, but one of the best ways to ensure that your teeth are always in top shape is to go to see your friendly neighborhood dentist every six months.

Here are 10 of the most common dental procedures explained.

Teeth Cleaning

Teeth cleaning, also commonly referred to as prophylaxis or scaling and root planning (SRP), is one of the most common dental procedures. Standard teeth cleaning usually begins with an evaluation of your dental health by Hillcrest Dental. Then, the procedure itself involves removing hardened plaque and tartar from above and below the gum-line.

The dentist will usually use specialized instruments called curettes to remove tartar and plaque buildup, as well as collect samples for testing if necessary. The dentist may also polish your teeth to give them a clean, shiny appearance. Teeth cleanings are performed with either traditional metal instruments or ultrasonic scalers, which many patients find less uncomfortable.


A filling is a procedure used to repair a cavity in a tooth. The dentist first numbs the area around the affected tooth and carefully removes any decayed or damaged enamel, exposing the inner pulp chamber. Once this area is cleaned, a filling material is typically placed into the space created by removing decayed material.

Fillings are made from various materials, including gold, silver, porcelain, and composite resin. The dentist will choose the most appropriate material for your specific needs. Composite resin fillings are now the most common type of filling and are made to match the color of your teeth.


A crown, alternatively known as a cap, is a dental restoration that covers the entire surface of a tooth. Crowns are leveraged to restore teeth that have been broken, worn down, or have had large fillings placed in them.

Crowns are usually made from a wide range of materials, including gold, porcelain, and alloys. They are usually fitted over a core of metal or plastic and are cemented into place. Crowns may last for many years but eventually may need to be replaced due to wear and tear. When you undergo dental procedures, make sure you opt for reliable places like new smile dental services.

Root Canals

The root canal procedure is done when the pulp in a tooth becomes infected and causes severe pain. During this procedure, which typically lasts 2-3 hours, the dentist will remove all of the pulp from inside the tooth and seal it off to prevent further infection.

Root canals are often necessary when a tooth has been severely damaged by decay or trauma. They are a common procedure, and over 14 million are performed in the United States every year.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are one of the effective cosmetic dental procedures available today. In order to prevent the shifting of teeth, a permanent fixture is placed in the jawbone to act as a foundation for replacement teeth. Dental implants function just like natural teeth and can last up to 20 years before needing repair or replacement. Your dentist can use All on 4 technique to fix the dental impants in your mouth.


Braces are one of the common dental treatments today. Made from heat-treated stainless steel, they work to straighten teeth and correct irregularities in the jawline, which may contribute to an overbite or underbite (also known as malocclusion). Braces can be attached to teeth using elastics (commonly referred to as rubber bands) or metal brackets.

Invisalign is a newer type of brace that uses a series of clear, plastic aligners to straighten teeth. Invisalign is less visible than traditional braces and can be removed for eating and brushing teeth.

Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is a well-known cosmetic dental procedure that can lighten the color of teeth by up to eight shades. Teeth whitening shall be done at home with over-the-counter bleaching kits or in a dentist’s office with stronger bleaching agents.

Dental Veneers

Dental veneers are thin porcelain or plastic shells designed to cover the front surface of teeth. Veneers are usually used to treat cosmetic flaws such as chips, stains, or gaps in front teeth by creating an even smile.


Bonding is a procedure used to improve the appearance of teeth that are chipped, cracked, or have gaps in them. A composite resin material is bonded to the tooth using a special adhesive and then shaped and polished to match the surrounding teeth.


Dentures are removable replacements for lost teeth. They are custom-made to fit the shape of your mouth and can be attached using metal clasps or by suctioning to the gums. There are three types of dentures that you may receive from a dentist: partial, full, or implant-supported.

Final Thoughts

Dental procedures are a common part of life. Whether you need a filling, braces, or a root canal, there is a good chance that you should visit the dentist at some point. By understanding the different types of dental procedures and what they entail, you can be better prepared for your next visit to the dental clinic.


Hannah Gilbert

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