What Does a Dentist Do?

Dentists In Las Vegas diagnose and treat conditions affecting the teeth, gums and mouth. They encourage patients to take responsibility for their oral health by practicing good hygiene and regularly visiting twice a year for dental exams and cleanings.

Dentistry is an exciting and rewarding career, but it also requires a significant commitment of time and money. Many dentists accumulate student debt that limits their financial flexibility.

The dentist is responsible for preventing and treating problems with the teeth, mouth and other parts of the oral cavity. This includes examining the patient, taking dental X-rays and performing other diagnostic procedures. Dentists also may perform restorative treatments, such as dental implants and fillings. Some dentists specialize in particular fields, such as pediatric dentistry, prosthodontics (dentures and crowns) or oral surgery.

A specialized field of dentistry is oral and maxillofacial radiology, which involves the interpreting of X-rays and CT scans of the jaws and face. Other dentists may choose to focus their practice in the areas of periodontics, which concerns itself with the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of gingivitis and periodontitis, as well as the reconstruction and maintenance of bone, soft tissue and artificial teeth; and orthodontics, or the straightening of crowded or misaligned teeth.

Oral medicine is another specialized area of dentistry that deals with the management of medically complex patients who require special attention and care from both their primary medical doctor and their dentist. Some dentists specialize in this area in order to treat cancer patients and other serious illnesses that affect the head and neck.

Some dentists choose to become board certified in their field, which is an additional credential that requires a minimum of four years of postgraduate training and successful completion of written and clinical exams. This credential is only awarded to dentists who have a commitment to excellence in their field.

Some dentists opt to go into public health dentistry, which focuses on improving the oral health of an entire population and preventing dental disease and other conditions. These dentists often work with local community groups to deliver education, counseling and treatment to prevent diseases, such as dental cavities, gum disease, poor nutrition and smoking. Other dentists, such as forensic dentists, use their knowledge of teeth and facial bones to assist law enforcement in identifying the remains of victims of crimes. These experts are often called upon to provide expert testimony in criminal and civil court cases.

Restorative care

Dentists provide restorative care by repairing or replacing teeth that have been lost through disease or trauma. They may also use dental implants and other advanced technologies to restore damaged teeth, gums and mouth tissues. Dentists also provide instruction and advice on how to maintain healthy oral tissues and prevent disease.

The primary focus of dentistry is promoting good oral health, which is the foundation for overall well-being. Dental hygiene is a key to this goal, as is the regular removal of plaque and tartar from the teeth. In addition, the dentist may recommend fluoride treatment to help prevent tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease.

In the United States, most dentists work in private practices. These offices are fully equipped with dental chairs, examination rooms and sterilization equipment. The dentist often supervises a team of assistants and dental hygienists to ensure that the patient receives comprehensive care.

Most people can maintain optimal oral health through a routine of daily brushing and flossing and visits for professional cleanings every six months. Those with more complex or serious dental problems may require more frequent visits to the dentist. The dentist will determine a schedule that is appropriate for the individual.

During a full exam, the dentist looks not only at the teeth and gums, but also the muscles of the head and neck, the tongue, salivary glands, and other parts of the head and mouth. The dentist is trained to spot early warning signs that can indicate a potential problem with other organs of the body and may refer the patient to a medical specialist for further evaluation or care.

In addition to working in private practice, some dentists choose to serve the public by working in community health centers and hospitals. Community health centers are often located in low-income areas where residents have limited access to dental care. They also serve patients with special needs, including those with medical conditions that affect the jaw and oral region. In hospital settings, the dentist often collaborates with other medical professionals to provide dental care to patients who are being treated for serious medical conditions.

Cosmetic care

Cosmetic dentists provide elective treatments and procedures, focusing on the overall appearance of a patient’s smile. These treatments include teeth whitening, veneers, and dental bonding. Although they are not considered to be essential to a patient’s oral health, they can restore a person’s confidence in their smile. Cosmetic dentistry can also correct an uneven bite, improve the color and shape of a tooth, or fill in gaps between teeth.

If you are considering visiting a cosmetic dentist, you should first research their experience and skills. The number of years they have been in business usually correlates with their level of skill, so it is best to choose one who has a lot of experience. You can also ask about the types of cosmetic procedures they have performed in the past.

In addition to offering the standard preventive care and restorative procedures, a cosmetic dentist can help patients repair and replace their damaged teeth with the latest technology. Modern restorations are durable and natural-looking, providing an alternative to crowns and other dental work that may not be suitable for some people. In addition, these new restorations can be designed to preserve more of a tooth’s surface area than traditional fillings.

Some common cosmetic treatments include teeth whitening, veneers, dental bonding, and dental implants. A cosmetic dentist will discuss these options with the patient and determine which treatment is best for their needs. In most cases, these treatments can be done painlessly and quickly.

While many cosmetic treatments are not covered by insurance, they can be expensive. When selecting a cosmetic dentist, you should find out whether they offer affordable payment plans. You should also check out reviews online and ask your friends for recommendations. Once you’ve narrowed down your list of cosmetic dentists, meet with them to discuss your options and budget.

A cosmetic dentist in Manhattan can help you achieve the perfect balance of your teeth’s symmetry, size, color, and position. They can make sure your smile looks healthy and beautiful with the right combination of cosmetic treatments. They will also consider your personality and facial features to create a unique treatment plan.

Emergency care

Whether it’s a cracked tooth, a severe toothache or an infected jaw, dental emergencies can be frightening. But knowing the difference between a dental emergency and something that can wait can help you feel more confident about how to proceed. In general, anything that causes extreme pain or swelling should be viewed as a dental emergency, but the severity of the problem can determine whether it needs to be dealt with right away or not.

Infections of the gums, a symptom that can indicate serious problems with a patient’s overall health, are also considered dental emergencies. If a patient develops a gum infection or has untreated tooth decay, the bacteria can spread to other parts of the body, such as the heart and bones, possibly causing life-threatening complications.

Patients who experience dental emergencies often visit hospital emergency departments, urgent care clinics and primary care physicians before being referred to dentists or oral surgeons. Educating these healthcare providers about dental conditions and their sequelae can help improve referrals and ensure that patients receive the prompt attention they need.

A dental emergency may also include jaw fractures, serious cuts or lacerations to the mouth and neck or a tooth that is knocked out. A knocked out tooth can be saved by locating it and gently trying to put it back into its socket without touching the root or using too much force. Keeping the tooth moistened in milk or saline will help with the reattachment process.

Other conditions that require immediate medical attention are those that are life-threatening or have a high degree of morbidity and mortality. These include a fractured jaw, a dislocated jaw or facial bone, serious bleeding in the mouth or nose and an abscessed or infected tooth that is extremely swollen and painful.

A hematologist, who is trained in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases and disorders of the blood and blood-forming tissues, can often be consulted for these situations. For the most complex cases, an integrated team of specialists including emergency physicians, hospitalists, intensivists, nurses and dental professionals may be needed to treat these conditions effectively.