Every year people visit their dentist for a whole bunch of reasons. Usually, it’s for a cleaning appointment with a dental hygienist and a check-up from the dentist, but there’s lots of other treatments and procedures that are also very common. We surveyed out dentists to find out what procedures they perform the most to get a better idea of what you can expect from visiting the dentist.
Let’s take a look at the Ten Most Common Reasons People Visit the Dentist.
#1 Having your teeth cleaned
The most popular by a long shot is teeth cleaning. That’s because even if you have perfect teeth, you still need to visit a dentist for a cleaning twice a year (every 6 months). Your home oral care routine just can’t replace the deep clean you get at the dentist office and isn’t enough to keep your oral health in top shape.
#2 Having your teeth whitened
Ten years ago, this one would have been a lot further down the list but with the rise of social media, the selfie and the influencer, teeth whitening has been steadily growing in popularity and now ranks in second place. It’s a relatively low-cost procedure that provides an instant confidence boosting result and almost every patient can have it done. Professional whitening is also quite safe and takes way less time than any at-home kit you can find at the pharmacy.
#3 Tooth extractions
The first of the invasive treatments to hit the list is having a tooth pulled. For reasons such as trauma, accidents, tooth decay or to make room for adjacent teeth (or a dental appliance), a tooth might have to be removed from time to time. It’s admittedly not the most pleasant procedure, but with a local anaesthetic or a sleep sedative, the process has become manageable.
#4 Having dental veneers installed
Dental veneers are a great way to fix crooked, misaligned, chipped, cracked or stained teeth and restore a patient’s confidence in their smile. Typically made from porcelain, these very thin shells are bonded to the front of a tooth or section of teeth to repair cosmetic flaws. Veneers are also an alternative to whitening but with veneers starting at around $1000 per tooth, they’ll end up costing a lot more.
#5 Dental fillings
Even with good at home oral care and regular cleaning appointments, sometimes cavities are unavoidable. Luckily, a filling is a straightforward and easy procedure that only takes about an hour to finish up. After a local anaesthetic having a cavity filling should be virtually painless and the numb sensation should clear up after a couple hours.
#6 Installing dental crowns
Number six on the list of most common reasons to visit a dentist is the dental crown. If a cavity is too large for a simple filling or the tooth has serious decay, then a crown might be the best solution. Crowns require a couple visits to the dentist to complete – one for a mold to be made of your teeth and the other to have the crown installed. Crowns can also be used for cosmetic reasons but do require some extra modification of existing teeth to install.
#7 Root canal treatments
This one people hate, and for good reason. If you need a root canal, you’ll likely be in a fair amount of pain already, because when it comes to the nerves in your teeth, even a small issue makes for a large amount of hurt. A root canal can sometimes be a side effect of having a larger cavity filled where the tooth nerve has become impacted. Infections inside the tooth can also require a root canal, making it the one of the top ten most common procedures.
#8 Dental bonding
Similar to veneers, dental bonding is a cosmetic procedure to repair chipped, cracked or otherwise damaged teeth. A colour matched resin is layered over the affected tooth, then sanded and polished to the correct shape. Bonding works well for small imperfections or if damage is minimal and is also regularly used in similar cases to dental veneers.
Ugghh, just the though of braces is enough to make any kid squirm – heck even adults who need tooth corrections will feel uncomfortable. However, braces are the best way to straighten a smile and 7 out of 10 patients will require them at some point. Luckily, the technology has advanced far enough that the old “metal mouth” style is being replaced by clear posts and wires or by the Invisalign style aligner trays. Either way, braces are much less unsightly these days and more affordable too.
Rounding out the top ten is the denture. Not only for senior citizens, but dentures are still a popular way to replace teeth that are missing due to damage or decay. Dentures are typically removeable and provide patients with a full set of working teeth. There are also permanent dentures available, called dental implants, but due to the cost and amount of work needed to install them, they didn’t make the top ten list.
No matter what procedure you’re visiting the dentist for (hopefully it’s just a cleaning and check-up) your dentist will do their utmost to make you feel comfortable. If you want additional information about these or any other dental procedures, you can read more here. We’d be happy to hear any comments you might have about your experiences at the dentist.