Dentistry
Cosmetic
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Common Dental Procedures

Updated on October 3, 2022

Dental Procedures to Improve Oral Health

Elena Borrelli
Written by 
Alyssa Hill
Medically Reviewed by Elena Borrelli
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The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends a visit to the dentist every 6 months. A teeth cleaning and general exam can help prevent cavities, gum disease, and other oral conditions.

Dentists perform various procedures to help prevent, cure, or reduce oral health conditions. General dentists can perform the majority of procedures. However, for some ailments, you might be referred to a specialist.

Dental specialists include:

  • Oral surgeons 
  • Orthodontists (malocclusion specialists)
  • Periodontists (gum disease specialists)
  • Prosthodontists (teeth replacement specialists)
  • Endodontists (root canal specialists)
  • Pediatric dentists (children’s dental specialists)

General dentists perform restorative dentistry (fixing or replacing teeth) and cosmetic dentistry procedures.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should children see the dentist?

Your child’s first visit should be scheduled within 6 months of their first tooth eruption. They should return to the dentist twice a year (every 6 months).

What are the most common dental procedures?

Teeth cleanings, cavity fillings, root canals, tooth extractions, braces, dental implants, dental crowns, dentures, dental bonding, veneers, and teeth whitening are all very common procedures.

What dental procedures does insurance cover?

Many dental insurance companies use the 100-80-50 plan model, which covers:

  • 100 percent of preventative care (teeth cleanings, dental exams, fluoride treatment, etc.)

  • 80 percent of basic procedures (dental fillings, extractions, root canals, etc.)

  • 50 percent of major procedures (bridges, implants, crowns, etc.)

  • But check with your insurance provider for a complete and accurate list.

How can I find a dental specialist?

Your general dentist will be able to refer you to a dental specialist if you need one. Alternatively, a third-party company, such as 1-800-DENTIST can help you find a specialist that fits your needs and takes your insurance.

Key Terms

Malocclusion

Maxillofacial

TMD

Mandible

Dental Savings Plan

Malocclusion

Normal occlusion is a perfect bite. Malocclusion is the misalignment of teeth. It can be caused by a difference in teeth and jaw size, congenital disabilities, childhood habits, teeth abnormalities, failed procedures, or jaw injuries and problems.
Types of malocclusion include: crowded teeth, diastema (gapped teeth), overbite, underbite, crossbite, open bite, and overjet.
Learn More:
Malocclusion of the Teeth: Types, Causes & Treatment

Maxillofacial

“Maxillofacial” refers to the face and jaw. “Oral” refers to the mouth. Common maxillofacial problems include fractures, dislocations, temporomandibular joint dysfunction, osteonecrosis, and jaw cancers.
Learn More:
What is Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery?

TMD

Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMDs) cause pain and improper functioning in the jaw and muscles that control jaw movement. It is the most common jaw disorder, affecting over 10 million Americans.
Learn More:
What is Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD)?

Mandible

The mandible refers to the lower jaw. It holds the lower teeth and connects to your skull’s temporal bones. This connection is the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). The upper jaw is called the maxilla.
Learn More:
What is the Mandible (Lower Jaw)?

Dental Savings Plan

A dental savings plan, also known as a dental discount plan, is an alternative to dental insurance. They are like club memberships. You pay a low monthly fee and receive discounted rates for dental services provided by dentists in their network.
Learn More:
What are Dental Discount Plans?
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