Dental care is an essential part of a person’s overall health and hygiene. Good dental hygiene can help you maintain healthy teeth and gums while preventing various oral problems, such as tooth decay, gum disease, bad breath, among others. However, sometimes good dental care requires more attention than just brushing and flossing daily.

This is where common dental procedures come into play. These are non-surgical treatments or surgical options dentists offer to treat various oral conditions. Understanding these procedures can be helpful for those seeking routine dental checkups or needing specific dental treatments but aren’t sure what they entail. In this article we will dive into some common dental procedures that every patient should know about before visiting their dentist.

Teeth Cleaning and Scaling: The Basics of Routine Care

Teeth cleaning and scaling are two common dental procedures that fall under the category of routine care. Teeth cleaning, also known as prophylaxis, is a preventive measure where a dentist or hygienist removes plaque and tartar buildup from teeth using specialized tools. The procedure typically takes about 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the amount of buildup present. Regular teeth cleanings are recommended twice a year for most patients.

Scaling is a procedure done when there is excessive plaque and tartar buildup below the gum line. Scaling involves scraping away these deposits from both above and below the gum line with specialized instruments to prevent further progression of gum disease also called periodontitis.

Dentists may use local anesthesia before performing this procedure on individual patients depending upon their case evaluations. It is important to follow good oral hygiene practices regularly after any dental cleaning or scaling appointments which includes brushing your teeth twice daily, flossing etc., to not get build up again thereby leading incidence of facing scaling treatments time after time. Regular checkups with your dental professional can help keep your mouth healthy, catch potential problems early on ensuring optimal treatment outcomes as needed thereby improving overall health status too!

Fillings: When and Why They Are Necessary

Dental fillings are a dental procedure often used to treat tooth decay. Tooth decay is caused when the bacteria in plaque produce acids that erode the enamel and dentin of the teeth, leading to cavities. Fillings help restore these damaged areas by filling them with materials such as amalgam, composite resin or other types of materials. Dentists remove the decayed part of your tooth before placing the filling material.

Fillings are necessary because if left untreated, cavities can worsen and cause more significant oral health problems such as abscesses and infections. Additionally, untreated cavities can lead to pain and discomfort while biting or chewing food — making it essential to have them treated promptly. Routine dental checkups can help detect early signs of cavities while they’re still small enough for straightforward treatment.

It’s crucial for patients to consult their dentist whenever they suspect any issues concerning their teeth or gums – regular checks up help reduce invasive procedures down the line in order maintain a healthy smile!

Root Canal Treatment: What to Expect During the Procedure

Root canal treatment is a common dental procedure used to treat teeth with infected or damaged pulp (the soft tissue inside your tooth). The procedure involves the removal of the affected pulp and cleaning of the root canals, followed by filling and sealing them. Root canal treatment is performed under local anesthesia, which numbs the area around the tooth being treated.

During the root canal procedure, you may feel some pressure and vibration as your dentist works on your tooth. However, you should not experience any pain during this time. After completing the treatment, your dentist will place a temporary filling to protect the tooth until it’s ready for a permanent restoration, such as a crown or bridge.

It’s normal to experience some sensitivity or discomfort after root canal treatment. Your dentist may prescribe pain medications or recommend over-the-counter pain relievers to help manage any discomfort during recovery. It’s important to follow all post-operative instructions provided by your dentist carefully, including attending follow-up appointments for checkups and restorative work. With proper care and maintenance, most patients can expect their restored teeth to last a lifetime!

Tooth Extraction: Common Reasons and Recovery Process

Tooth extraction is a common dental procedure that involves the removal of a tooth from its socket in the jawbone. There are several reasons why this may be necessary, including severe tooth decay, gum disease, injury or trauma to the tooth, and overcrowding. In some cases, wisdom teeth may also need to be extracted if they are causing pain or discomfort.

Recovery from a tooth extraction typically takes about one week. Patients can expect some pain and swelling at first, which can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers and ice packs. It is important to avoid hard or crunchy foods for the first few days following surgery and to rinse gently with saltwater regularly to keep the area clean. The dentist will provide specific instructions on how best to care for your mouth after an extraction depending on your individual case. It is essential to follow these instructions carefully to ensure proper healing and prevent complications such as infection or dry socket formation.

Cosmetic Dentistry: Enhancing Your Smile with Procedures such as Whitening and Veneers

Cosmetic dentistry is one of the most popular types of dental procedures. It focuses on improving your smile’s appearance and restoring its beauty using various techniques, such as teeth whitening and veneers. Teeth whitening involves removing stains or discoloration from the surface of your teeth by applying a bleaching solution. On the other hand, veneers are thin shells made from porcelain that cover the front surface of damaged or misshapen teeth, giving them a more natural-looking appearance.

These cosmetic dental treatments can produce significant results for those looking to enhance their smiles’ aesthetics easily and quickly. They can boost self-esteem, confidence levels and improve how you feel about yourself overall. However, it’s important to note that not everyone is an ideal candidate for these procedures due to underlying oral health issues, so be sure to consult a professional before pursuing these options further.


At Larry D. Molenda, D.D.S. in San Marcos, we believe that knowledge empowers patients to make informed decisions about their oral health. Understanding common dental procedures is the first step towards achieving and maintaining a healthy, beautiful smile. Our experienced team at our dentist office in San Marcos, TX, is dedicated to providing top-notch dental care and ensuring your comfort throughout any procedure. If you’re in San Marcos and seeking expert dental care, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Whether it’s routine check-ups, dental crowns in San Marcos, TX, or any other dental service, we are here to serve you.

Take charge of your oral health today – contact us and let us help you achieve the smile you deserve in our state-of-the-art dentist office in San Marcos that is equipped with the latest technology and staffed with a team of highly skilled professionals. Your journey to optimal dental health starts here!