The processes and procedures used for the diagnosis and treatment of conditions of the teeth are collectively known as dentistry. Dentistry is much more than the painful toothache that most people associate with a trip to the dentist. One of the more recent specializations in the field of dentistry is restorative dentistry. Involved in this discipline is the return of the structure of the teeth to a more normal standing so that function is restored. Damaged and decayed teeth can be removed and alternatives suggested that will allow a person to return to a more normal way of life both in terms of function and appearance. The most common options for the replacement of missing teeth through restorative dentistry include implants, crowns, and bridges.
Restorative dentistry is very closely related to cosmetic dentistry with the only real difference being in the reason behind the completion of the dental work. Cosmetic dentistry is mostly concerned with how the teeth and mouth in general look whereas restorative dentistry is more concerned with returning teeth to a fully functional state that allows the proper chewing of food. It is a minor difference and, because many of the procedures are the same, most dental practices that do either also do the other. The health of your teeth and gums can have other effects causing confidence issues if they have a poor appearance or other health problems if they are diseased so do not put off visiting your dentist out of fear.
If you have a problem visiting your dentist due to fear or anxiety then you are not alone and another recent entry into the field, sedation dentistry, may be the answer that you have been looking for to ease your concerns. Most communities now have a dental office that can offer sedation dentistry to those patients who need it and many dental offices specialize in it because of the number of patients who have deep seated fears of dentistry. Normally a patient is given an oral medication a little before the procedure that helps them to relax and ease the anxiety making the whole experience less tense for everyone involved. This is known as light sedation. Stronger medications may be used if necessary, but in most cases the light sedation is enough to make the procedure tolerable even to the most anxious patient.
If sedation dentistry still cannot get you into the dental chair, or if you are in need of a more complex procedure, then you will most likely be referred to an oral surgeon who will be able to give you a general anesthetic so that you can sleep through the procedure. While this type of procedure can be used for those who have extreme dental anxieties, it is most commonly used for painful procedures like the removal of wisdom teeth that cannot be performed with just a local anesthetic like novocaine. Whatever the condition of your teeth and gums you should get regular check ups so that any issues can be fixed and further issues prevented. There is a form of dentistry that will fit your needs and keep you smiling.