Most Americans care a great deal about their teeth. After all, if teeth aren’t well cared for, they will look crooked and discolored, or even fall out. Adults are often embarrassed by their ugly or missing teeth, and bad teeth can hamper a person’ social standing at a job interview or a date night. Meanwhile, serious tooth problems may even be painful and distressing, and probably expensive to get taken care of. This is why dental work is important for a modern American’s health, and adults and kids alike are urged to always visit their dentist once or twice a year. Dental implants, root canals, dentures, and dental bridges are a few of the reasons to visit a dentist’s office. When is it time to see the dentist?
Cosmetic Dental Work
Sometimes, dental work at the dentist’s office is based on the appearance of a patient’s teeth rather than the condition of the tooth. A tooth can be generally healthy, but also unattractive to look at. Some people suffer from crooked teeth, or their teeth may be discolored from years of heavy smoking or coffee drinking. Often, discolored or crooked teeth are considered ugly, and this can be fairly common. In fact, it is estimated that only 35% of adults today have well-aligned front teeth, and many American adults may also have crooked teeth or even missing teeth. Dental care can help with this.
Cosmetic dental care may involve whitening the teeth. In any person’s mouth, white teeth are considered the most attractive, such as the slang term “pearly whites.” If a person indeed wants pearly whites, they can visit their dentist and get some cosmetic dental work done. Or, they may visit another dentist’s office or even use commercially available tooth-whitening toothpaste. Regular use of such toothpaste can help make the teeth whiter over time, but a dentist may get this work done even faster. An interested patient may look online first, such as “tooth whitening dental work near me” and find some offices to visit.
Or, a person may want to get their crooked teeth literally in line. Crooked and misaligned teeth are often considered unattractive, so clear plastic retainers can be used to correct this issue. A dentist will take molds of their patient’s teeth, and use these imprints to create a set of clear plastic retainers. A number of retainer brands are known to be used, and any of them can help get the teeth straightened back out over time. Best of all, these retainers are nearly impossible to see, and a person may have a natural look while wearing them.
Serious Dental Work
In other cases, a tooth may or may not be discolored, but it will be infected or damaged. This is no joke; an infected tooth may need a root canal, or it might be pulled out entirely in some cases. A good dentist can get this done safely and painlessly, and Americans often trust their dentists to do a fine job. Dentistry ranks among the top 10 most ethical and trusted professions in the United States, and this can be a relief for a distressed patient who has a toothache.
What does a root canal do? Many Americans are afraid of them, but in reality, a root canal is painless and doesn’t even remove the tooth from the mouth. Instead, the dentist will numb the affected tooth, then surgically remove the fleshy pulp inside to clear out a bacterial infection. This leaves the tooth in place, though that tooth will no longer feel heat or cold and it will be slightly more fragile. But in other cases, a heavily infected tooth, or one that is about to fall out of diseased gums, may be numbed and then carefully extracted from the mouth.
Why else might a tooth be pulled from a patient’s mouth entirely? In some cases, a wisdom tooth is emerging, and this is a problem. Wisdom teeth are extra adult teeth that might grow into the mouth, but there is no room for them. If a wisdom tooth erupts, it may crowd the other teeth and cause deformations in the mouth. “Crowding,” in simple terms. Dentists can numb and then remove wisdom teeth if they emerge in an adult patient’s mouth to prevent harmful crowding.