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What Do Dentists Do?



What Do Dentists Do?

Everyone knows you have to go see a dentist once or twice a year for a checkup and cleaning. Some Canadians will need to visit the dentist to get cavities filled or have other procedures performed. It’s unlikely that you will ever see the full range of abilities a dentist has. But understanding what your dentist can do will offer you a deeper understanding of what they are doing or looking for at each appointment.

Dental Background

Dentists have to go through an extensive amount of school to be prepared for practicing in an actual dental office. First, they typically have an undergraduate degree before entering dental school. Most dentists prepare for dental school by taking science courses in high school and university/college. Once in dental school, they will spend time learning dental theories but also practicing in real dental clinics with hands-on experience.


Different dentists may specialize in certain sectors of dentistry, but all are essentially able to treat just about every issue. Depending on the kind of dentist you see, they will be able to perform a few of or all of the following.

Diagnosing and treating disease of the mouth

The mouth has a number of different delicate systems. You may run into problems if those systems are not kept in proper functioning condition by brushing and flossing regularly, as well as maintaining a healthy diet and oral habits. Issues include cavities, tooth decay, plaque buildup, and more. Typically treatment for minor dental and oral health concerns is conducted by a general or family dentist. For extreme cases of any dental concern, your regular dentist may refer you to either a periodontist or endodontist. A periodontist works with the gums and overall gum health. An endodontist works closer with the inner tooth, including the tooth pulp and nerves. You can fully trust Aria Dental in this regard.


Everyone will or has seen a dentist for regular cleaning. Dentists will scrape away any built-up plaque and tartar that has solidified to the teeth. While everyone regularly tries to keep their mouth healthy in great condition, it can be challenging without the professional tools dentists have access to. By keeping up with regular dental cleanings, you reduce the number of harmful bacteria left to fester in your mouth. You can extend the length of your cleanings last by diligently keeping up with your brushing and flossing habits.

Cosmetic procedures

Much of dentistry revolves around prevention and medical treatments, but cosmetic procedures are also a part of a dentist’s catalog. Dentists can whiten your teeth with a variety of treatments. Some dentists even offer botox treatments to accompany your cosmetic whitening. Other cosmetic procedures include veneers and implants.

Monitor teeth and jaw growth

Monitoring tooth and jaw growth is essential, especially in young patients who are still developing. Pediatric dentists are on high alert for any developmental concerns they may see. Developmental concerns include cleft palate, overcrowding, missing teeth, and abnormal tooth eruption. For issues with teeth development, and bone structure, your dentist may refer you to an orthodontist or an oral surgeon.

Order and interpret x-rays

Dental x-rays help determine tooth placement and can predict future concerns. Dentists will begin ordering oral x-rays at around age seven to make sure all your teeth are present. They will routinely check up on your tooth progression as you age. When you age, your dentist will be looking for tooth density, cavities, tooth decay and structural issues below the gumline. X-rays also reveal cysts, abscesses and tumors. Without x-rays, your oral and overall physical health could be a concern and you wouldn’t even know.

Create treatment plans

Your dentist will work with you to create effective treatment plans that effectively combat any dental issues you have in the short term and in the long term. Your treatment plan will address current health issues and will shift to future prevention after pressing issues like cavities and abscesses are taken care of.

Administer anesthetics

Some patients handle dental procedures much differently than others. Patients with extreme anxiety or low pain tolerance may opt for dental anesthetics during regular dental procedures or specialized treatments. Dentists can administer and monitor the doses they provide patients and advise accordingly.

Perform restorative surgeries and treatments.

Dentists regularly address issues with the oral cavity with surgical procedures. For example, your dentist may recommend you get your wisdom teeth extracted, so they don’t cause issues with the rest of your mouth. An oral surgeon will perform this procedure. Other restorative treatments include dental implants, root canals, dental bridges, and more. Your dentist will likely discuss any serious restorative treatments with you and offer their recommendations.

Look out for concerns in the mouth, neck, or head

Dentists focus mainly on your actual oral cavity. That being said, they are also so close to your neck, face, and head that they can easily look out for other concerns. Your dentist may look for swelling around your lymph nodes, a cancerous sign. They may also perform oral screenings for clusters of abnormal cells.

Why oral health matters

Overall, any of your dentists are just concerned with your general oral health. Oral health is so important to every single aspect of physical health. Your mouth is vital to food consumption and is where digestion begins, it is connected to a number of nerves, and even plays a role in chronic illnesses like heart disease and diabetes.

If it’s been a while since you’ve seen a dentist, it might not be a bad idea to book a checkup or dental cleaning today!

Author’s Bio

Nicole Howe is a content writer at BreezeMaxWeb. When she isn’t writing, you can find her walking half marathons, biking, or watching Raptors basketball!


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