Monday, August 8, 2016

Frequently Asked Dental Questions


How do dentists number teeth? 

The most widely used system for numbering teeth is the Universal Numbering System.

The number 1 tooth is located in the back-right side of your mouth on the upper jaw. The numbering continues on the upper jaw, from the right to left side, which is numbered 1 through 16. The numbering then continues by dropping down from the left side to number 17. Your teeth are then numbered from left to right on your bottom jaw, ending in 32. If you are missing your third molar, your teeth will be numbered starting with 2 instead of one, and If you are missing any other teeth, they will still be numbered. 

What material is used to fill a cavity?

Gold fillings are often seen as the best cavity solution. They do not harm the gums and can last up to 20 years. The downside of gold fillings is that they are expensive and can require many dental visits.

Amalgam fillings or silver fillings are used commonly because of their cheap price, and resistance to wear. They are more noticeable than other cavity treatment options which are why many people will only use them for their back teeth. 

Composite resins are widely used when people are looking for something that will match their natural tooth color. Unfortunately, composite resins do not last very long and can easily stain from coffee, tea, etc. 

To fill a root canal dentists typically use a rubbery material called gutta-percha. To fill the canal space, gutta-percha is heated and compressed to seal the walls of the root canal. With cement as an adhesive seals the canal space and prevents it from becoming infected once again. 

How do dentists attach braces?

Dentists cannot attach traditional braces but can apply ClearCorrect braces, which are used for patients who only need mild tooth correction. Your dentist will take impressions and x-rays of your teeth to find the perfect fit. You will be able to preview your projected results to give yourself an idea of what your future teeth will look like. After digitally mapping and molding your aligners, you will then be able to wear your braces.

What do dentists use to numb your mouth?

The most commonly used way to numb teeth is anesthesia, which is injected into a patient’s inner cheek or gums. The typical anesthetic that dentists use is called lidocaine. In addition to lidocaine, drugs such as vasoconstrictor as often used to narrow the blood vessels, making the numbness last longer. Sodium hydroxide and sodium chloride may be used as well to assist the numbing drug.

Numbing injections work in two ways. The first is a blockinjection which numbs a portion of your mouth, such as you one side of your upper jaw. The second option is an infiltration injection, which numbs a small area of your mouth where the injection was given.

Before injecting the numbing agent, your dentist will dry your mouth with a cotton ball or air. Your dentist will then apply a gel to numb the skin.

Next your dentist will inject the local anesthesia, which will give you a sting. This mild sting is not from the needle puncturing the skin, but from the anesthesia moving through the tissue. Once injected, the anesthesia will last several hours. 

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