Essential 10 Dental Procedures Explained

Discover the world of dental procedures with our comprehensive guide.

From routine cleanings to complex treatments, learn about oral health care.

Essential 10 Dental Procedures Explained

Exploring Dental Procedures: Your Guide to Oral Health

Table of Contents

Welcome to our journey through dental health, where we’ll unravel the mysteries behind ten common dental procedures. From routine dental services to more complex treatments, understanding these dental procedures is vital to maintaining a healthy smile. Let’s delve into dental care and demystify these essential treatments.

Dental Cleanings and Exams: Foundations of Easy Dental Care

dental cleaning

Routine dental cleanings and exams are fundamental aspects of dental care. These services typically occur every six months and involve thorough teeth cleaning by a dental hygienist, followed by an examination by your dentist. During the cleaning, plaque and tartar are removed from your teeth, helping to prevent cavities and gum disease. The exam allows the dentist to assess your overall oral health, check for signs of decay or other dental issues, and discuss any concerns you may have.

Fillings: Repairing Cavities and Preserving Teeth

Dental fillings are a standard treatment for cavities, which are areas of decay on the surface of your teeth. During this dental treatment, the dentist removes the decayed portion of the tooth and fills the space with a filling material to restore its shape and function. The most common types of filling materials include amalgam (a mixture of metals) and composite resin (a tooth-colored material). By addressing cavities with fillings, you can prevent further decay and preserve the affected teeth.

Root Canals: Saving Teeth with Advanced Dental Treatments

Root canal therapy, often called a root canal, is a dental procedure used to treat an infection or damage deep within the tooth’s pulp (the innermost part of the tooth). When the pulp becomes infected or inflamed, it can cause severe pain and may lead to tooth loss if left untreated. During a root canal, the dentist removes the infected or damaged pulp, cleans and disinfects the inside of the tooth, and then fills and seals it with gutta-percha. Despite its reputation, root canal therapy is a highly effective way to save a tooth and relieve pain.

Extractions: Removing Troublesome Teeth

Tooth extraction removes a tooth from its socket in the jawbone. This dental procedure may be necessary for several reasons, including severe decay, advanced gum disease, crowding, or trauma. Before performing an extraction, the dentist will numb the area with a local anesthetic to ensure you feel little to no pain during the procedure. After removing the tooth, the dentist may provide instructions for post-extraction care, such as avoiding certain foods and taking pain medication as needed.

Dental Crowns: Restoring Strength and Function

dental crown

A dental crown, also known as a cap, is a tooth-shaped covering placed over a damaged or weakened tooth to restore its strength, shape, and appearance. This treatment is often recommended for teeth that have undergone root canal therapy, have large fillings, or are significantly worn down. Dental crowns can be made from various materials, including porcelain, metal, or a combination of both, depending on the tooth’s location and your aesthetic preferences.

Dental Bridges: Filling Gaps in Your Smile

A dental bridge is a fixed dental restoration that replaces one or more missing teeth by bridging the gap between adjacent teeth. This dental treatment consists of one or more artificial teeth, called pontics, anchored by dental crowns attached to the neighboring teeth. Dental bridges not only improve the appearance of your smile but also help restore proper chewing and speaking abilities and prevent the remaining teeth from shifting out of position.

Dental Implants: Permanent Solutions for Tooth Loss

Dental implants are titanium posts surgically placed into the jawbone beneath the gum line to serve as artificial tooth roots. This dental treatment provides a strong foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth, such as crowns, bridges, or dentures. Dental implants offer numerous benefits, including improved chewing ability, enhanced speech, and increased comfort and confidence when smiling and speaking.

Orthodontic Treatments: Straightening Smiles with Precision

Orthodontic treatments are designed to correct misaligned teeth and bite issues, improving your smile’s appearance and function. Traditional braces consist of metal brackets and wires that gradually move the teeth into the desired position over time. In contrast, clear aligners like Invisalign® are custom-made plastic trays that fit snugly over the teeth and exert gentle pressure to shift them into alignment. Orthodontic treatments enhance your smile’s aesthetics and promote better oral health by making it easier to clean and maintain your teeth.

Gum Disease Treatments: Preserving Gum Health

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is an infection of the gums and bones that support the teeth, often caused by poor oral hygiene habits, tobacco use, genetics, or certain medical conditions. Common symptoms of gum disease include red, swollen, or bleeding gums; persistent bad breath; and loose or shifting teeth. Gum disease treatments aim to remove the bacteria and plaque buildup contributing to gum inflammation and infection, restore gum health, and prevent further damage to the gums and supporting structures.

Teeth Whitening: Brightening Smiles Safely

teeth whiteningTeeth whitening is a popular cosmetic dental treatment that effectively lightens stains and discoloration caused by aging, tobacco use, certain foods and beverages, or medications. This procedure can be performed in-office by a dentist or at home using custom-fitted trays and professional-grade whitening gel. While over-the-counter whitening products are also available, professional teeth whitening treatments offer superior results and safety under the supervision of a dental professional.


We’ve explored ten common dental procedures for maintaining optimal oral health and achieving a beautiful smile. Whether you’re due for a routine dental cleaning and exam or considering more complex dental treatments like root canals or dental implants, understanding these procedures is vital to making informed decisions about your dental care. Remember to prioritize regular visits to your dentist for preventive care and address any dental concerns promptly to preserve your smile for years to come. Here’s to a healthier, happier you!


FAQs Section

1. What dental procedures are covered by medical insurance?

Dental procedures covered by medical insurance can vary depending on the specific insurance plan and provider. Generally, medical insurance may cover specific dental procedures deemed medically necessary rather than purely cosmetic. Commonly covered dental procedures may include emergency dental care for issues like toothaches or injuries, diagnostic services such as X-rays, and treatments for dental conditions that affect overall health, such as infections, or oral surgery procedures like tooth extractions or biopsies.

However, routine dental care, such as cleanings, fillings, and orthodontic treatments, is typically not covered by medical insurance and requires separate dental insurance coverage or out-of-pocket payments.

2. What dental procedures does the VA cover?

The dental procedures covered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) can vary depending on a veteran’s eligibility status, service-connected disabilities, and other factors. Generally, the VA provides dental benefits to certain eligible veterans through its Veterans Health Administration (VHA) dental program. Covered dental services for eligible veterans may include diagnostic and preventive care (e.g., cleanings, exams, X-rays), restorative treatments (e.g., fillings, crowns, extractions), and emergency dental care.

However, the scope of VA dental benefits is limited, and not all veterans qualify for comprehensive dental coverage. Eligibility for VA dental benefits is determined based on factors such as service-connected disabilities, former prisoner of war status, and income level.

3. Who performs the majority of operative dental procedures?

Most operative dental procedures, including routine dental cleanings, fillings, root canals, extractions, and restorative treatments, are performed by licensed dentists. Dentists are trained dental professionals who have completed a doctoral degree in dentistry (D.D.S. or D.M.D.) from an accredited dental school and obtained licensure from their state dental board. General dentists are primary dental care providers who diagnose, treat, and manage overall oral health and perform a wide range of dental procedures.

However, specific specialized dental procedures, such as oral surgery, may be performed by oral surgeons (oral and maxillofacial surgeons) who have completed additional training in surgical procedures related to the mouth, jaw, and face. Additionally, dental hygienists may perform specific non-surgical dental procedures, such as dental cleanings and oral hygiene education, under the supervision of a licensed dentist.

Experience Personalized, Top-Notch Dental Care at Sacramento River Dental Group


Looking to elevate your oral health to new heights? Look no further than Sacramento River Dental Group in Sacramento, CA. Our team of seasoned professional dental doctors is dedicated to providing exceptional care tailored to your unique needs. From routine cleanings to advanced treatments, we offer comprehensive services to brighten your smile. Don’t wait any longer – schedule your appointment with us today and experience the difference that personalized, top-notch dental care can make in your life. Your smile deserves the best, and we’re here to deliver it at Sacramento River Dental Group.

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Sacramento River Dental Group – Candidate Privacy Notice

Sacramento River Dental Group is committed to respecting your online privacy and recognizes your need for appropriate protection and management of any personally identifiable information (“Personal Information”) you share with us.

Sacramento River Dental Group is a “data controller”. This means that we are responsible for deciding how we hold and use personal information about you. This privacy notice makes you aware of how and why your personal data will be used, namely for the purposes of the Sacramento River Dental Group employment recruitment process, and how long it will usually be retained.

Data protection principles

We will comply with data protection law and principles, which means that your data will be:

  • Used lawfully, fairly, and in a transparent way.
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  • Accurate and kept up to date.
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The kind of information we hold about you

In connection with your application for work with us, we will collect, store, and use the following categories of personal information about you:

  • The information you have provided to us in your curriculum vitae and cover letter.
  • The information you have provided on our application form, including name, title, address, telephone number, personal email address, employment history, and qualifications.
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How is your personal information collected?

We collect personal information about candidates from the following sources:

  • You, the candidate.
  • Recruitment agencies and vendors we have agreed on terms in place with
  • Professional networking profile
  • Employees and others who refer you to us

How we will use information about you?

We will use the personal information we collect about you to:

  • Assess your skills, qualifications, and suitability for the role.
  • Carry out background and reference checks, where applicable.
  • Communicate with you about the recruitment process.
  • Keep records related to our hiring processes.
  • Comply with legal or regulatory requirements.
  • We also need to process your personal information to decide whether to enter into a contract of employment with you.

Having received your CV, cover letter, and/or your application form, we will then process that information to decide whether you meet the basic requirements to be screened by our in-house recruitment team for the role. If you do, we will decide whether your application is strong enough to invite you for an interview, be it by telephone, in person, or by other electronic means. If we decide to engage you for an interview, we will use the information you provide to us at the interview to decide whether to offer you the role. If we decide to offer you the role, we will then take up references before confirming your appointment.

If you fail to provide personal information

If you fail to provide information when requested, which is necessary for us to consider your application (such as evidence of qualifications or work history), we will not be able to process your application successfully and we will not be able to take your application further.

Automated decision-making

You will not be subject to decisions that will have a significant impact on you based solely on automated decision-making.

Data sharing With third parties

  • We will only share your personal information with the following third parties for the purposes of processing your application; this may involve sharing your information with other companies within our own group if we consider they may have other relevant vacancies and only if you consent to such sharing
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We have put in place appropriate security measures to prevent your personal information from being accidentally lost, used, or accessed in an unauthorized way, altered, or disclosed. In addition, we limit access to your personal information to those employees, agents, contractors, and other third parties who have a business need-to-know. They will only process your personal information on our instructions and they are subject to a duty of confidentiality.

We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected data security breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected breach where we are legally required to do so.

Data retention (how long will you use my information for)

  • We will retain your personal information for a period of 2 years after we have communicated to you our decision about whether to appoint you to the role. We will retain your personal information so that we can make you aware of any suitable alternative roles that arise during this period.
  • We further retain your personal information for that period so that we can show, in the event of a legal claim, that we have not discriminated against candidates on prohibited grounds and that we have conducted the recruitment exercise in a fair and transparent way. After this period, we will securely destroy your personal information in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.
  • If you would prefer that we did not retain your personal information, you can notify us at any time and we will delete your personal information.

Rights of access, correction, erasure, and restriction

Under certain circumstances, by law, you have the right to:

  • Request access to your personal information (commonly known as a “data subject access request”). This enables you to receive a copy of the personal information we hold about you and to check that we are lawfully processing it.
  • Request correction of the personal information that we hold about you. This enables you to have any incomplete or inaccurate information we hold about you corrected.
  • Request erasure of your personal information. This enables you to ask us to delete or remove personal information where there is no good reason for us to continue to process it. You also have the right to ask us to delete or remove your personal information where you have exercised your right to object to processing (see below).
  • Object to processing of your personal information where we are relying on a legitimate interest (or those of a third party) and there is something about your particular situation which makes you want to object to processing on this ground. You also have the right to object to where we are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes.
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Right to withdraw consent

When you applied for this role, you provided consent to us processing your personal information for the purposes of the recruitment exercise. You have the right to withdraw your consent for processing for that purpose at any time.

To withdraw your consent, please contact the Recruitment Manager. Once we have received notification that you have withdrawn your consent, we will no longer process your application, and, subject to our policies, we will dispose of your personal data securely.

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