Dental Terms You’ve Heard but Might Not Fully Understand
Picture this: you’re lying in the dentist chair after an exam and some x-rays when your dentist says that he thinks you are going to need a root canal on that molar that’s been hurting for a little while. Cost aside, the next thing you are going to want to know, clearly and succinctly, is what a root canal is and how it’s done, right?
We’ve pulled together some terms that your dentist might mention to you; terms that go above and beyond a basic cleaning and fillings terminology that most of us have heard at one time or another.
Root Canal: Unfortunately not all teeth are perfectly healthy. A dentist can save a damaged tooth by performing a root canal, which removes decayed pulp (nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue inside a tooth) from the interior space of the root. The space is then filled with an inert material. A root canal is sometimes but not always followed by the adding of a crown.
Crown: Tooth crowns are placed over existing teeth and are typically a way to cover teeth that have metal fillings or misshapen teeth. They are most commonly given to patients who have crooked, broken, cracked, or chipped teeth. Because they go on over what is already there, there is no need for the tooth to be pulled. Typically, temporary crowns are put in place while more permanent crowns are being crafted, usually in less than a week. Additionally, if there is an insufficient amount of healthy tooth left to adhere the crown to, a post can be used. A post is a thin metal rod inserted into the root of a tooth after root canal therapy. A post provides retention for a “coping” which replaces the lost tooth structure and retains crowns.
Bridge: Bridges resemble natural teeth, and are designed to take the place of areas where there are gaps between teeth. A bridge is a stationary dental prosthesis (appliance) fixed to teeth adjacent to a space. It replaces one or more missing teeth, cemented or bonded, to supporting teeth or implants adjacent to the space.
Denture: Dentures are removable (partial or complete) sets of artificial teeth. Whether you have lost teeth due to decay or an accident, properly fitting dentures can help you return your mouth to a happy state and allow you to keep a beautiful smile. A partial denture replaces one or more natural teeth (vs. a complete denture set).
Dental Implant: A dental implant is a metal cylinder surgically placed in the bone of the upper or lower jaw to provide support for a dental restoration or appliance. Whereas dentures are removable, dental implants are permanent.
No matter what your dental situation, whether you’re looking for a dentist you can trust to take care of your families oral health or whether you’re dealing with an issue that needs some serious attention, our full range of dental services can help! We have offices conveniently located in Milton and Scarborough, both which offer evening and weekend hours. We’d love to help you and your family take care of your beautiful smiles – contact us today and let’s get started!