A Comprehensive Guide to Common Dental Procedures

Visiting the dentist is one of the most frequent reasons people seek medical attention. From cleaning and whitening to more complex treatments such as dental bonding, crowns, and fillings, there are a variety of dental procedures available. In this article, we'll explore some of the most common dental procedures and explain why they are necessary. One of the most common dental treatments is cleaning.

This involves removing plaque and tartar from the teeth to prevent cavities and gum disease. It's usually done with a special tool called a scaler, which is used to scrape away the buildup. Cleaning is a relatively simple process that can be completed in one visit to the dentist. Another popular procedure is whitening.

This involves using a bleaching agent to lighten the color of the teeth. Whitening can be done at home with over-the-counter products or in-office with professional products. It's important to note that whitening does not change the shape or structure of the teeth, but it can make them look brighter and more attractive.

Dental bonding

is a conservative way to repair slightly chipped, discolored, or crooked teeth.

During this procedure, a white filling is placed on the tooth to improve its appearance. The filling “sticks” to the tooth and, since it comes in a variety of shades of tooth color, looks a lot like natural teeth. Bonding can also be used for dental fillings instead of silver amalgams. Many patients prefer bonded fillings because white is much less noticeable than silver.


are a restorative procedure used to improve the shape of the tooth or to strengthen a tooth.

Crowns are most commonly used for teeth that are broken, worn out, or whose parts have been destroyed by tooth decay. A crown is a “cap” cemented onto an existing tooth that generally covers the part of the tooth above the gum line. In fact, the crown becomes the new outer surface of the tooth. Crowns can be made of porcelain, metal, or both.

Porcelain crowns are most often preferred because they mimic the translucency of natural teeth and are very strong.


are usually made of silver amalgam. The strength and durability of this traditional dental material make it useful for situations where restored teeth must withstand extreme forces from chewing, often in the back of the mouth. Newer dental fillings include ceramic and plastic composites that mimic the appearance of natural teeth. These compounds, often called composite resins, are generally used on front teeth where it's important to look natural but can also be used on back teeth depending on the location and extent of tooth decay.


can be used to replace missing teeth for a more natural-looking smile or to anchor dentures, especially lower dentures that tend to move when talking or chewing.

Implants involve surgically placing titanium posts into your jawbone which act as anchors for artificial teeth.

At-home teeth whitening

consists of custom-made dental trays filled with hydrogen peroxide gel that you can use at home. This treatment does not eliminate the need for dental fillings or crowns to repair function or aesthetics.

Mouth guards

are recommended if you participate in any type of full contact sport. They help protect your teeth from damage caused by contact with other players or objects.

Dental sealants

act as a barrier against bacteria that cause cavities and are usually applied to the chewing surface of permanent teeth. Most often, sealants are applied to back teeth but each patient has unique needs and your dentist will recommend sealants on a case-by-case basis.

Gum disease

, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection that affects gums and jaw and can cause loss of gums and teeth in severe cases.

There are two main stages: gingivitis (the mildest and most reversible form) and periodontitis (which is usually more serious). In some cases, gum surgery may be required to reverse any damage caused.


may be necessary if a tooth is so damaged that it cannot be repaired with a dental restoration. At Isaacson Gentle Dentistry in White Bear Lake, MN we offer a full range of dental services including cleaning, whitening, bonding, crowns, fillings, implants, at-home whitening kits, mouth guards, and sealants.

If you have any questions about why a certain procedure is recommended for you or your child, don't hesitate to ask your dentist!.

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Vicki Morris
Vicki Morris

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