The Most Common Dental Procedures

People go to the dentist for all manner of different reasons. But most people go to the dentist are only a handful of reasons.

Here we will discuss the most common dental procedures that a general family dentist performs.


Okay, this may sound a bit obvious but the number one most common dental procedure is a regularly scheduled cleaning. In regular cleaning, the dentist will examine your teeth 4 any weakness in the enamel which can lead to cavities. They will scrape your teeth with a pick to remove any built-up plaque. Then they will floss your teeth better than you can at home.

Then the dentist or hygienist will thoroughly clean your teeth far better than you could ever hope to achieve with just a simple toothbrush at home.

Another reason why this is the most common procedure to get is that you get your regularly scheduled cleaning twice a year. So, every year the dentist will do this two times per patient.

And that is the most common procedure a dentist will perform, the regularly scheduled cleaning.

Some dentists, like make it super easy for patients to get a regular cleaning by posting there open schedule on their website.  This lets a patient pick a time, 24/7, that works best for them.


Coming in at number two on the list are dental fillings. The reason why you get dental fillings is to fix your teeth that have cavities or that are beginning to decay. Feelings can also be used to repair teeth that have some type of damage or injuries like a fracture or a chip.

The most common complaint that a dentist will ever hear is that the patient has a toothache. When a patient has a toothache the number one thing a dentist is going to check for is cavities or damage to a tooth. A dentist will look for evidence of either of these by taking a digital x-ray or by manually inspecting the teeth.

Once the problem tooth is found, they will need to numb the gums and teeth around the damaged area. Next, a dentist will usually have to remove the decay and possibly part of the tooth that is chipped or cracked to make the area better able to handle a filling.

Cavities from tooth decay and cracked teeth from accidental injuries and damage happened to just about everyone. This is why it is so common to get fillings. If you are reading this there is a very good chance that you have fillings in your teeth right now.

Dental crowns

Dental crowns are used for many of the same reasons that fillings are, but they are used when fillings won’t get the job done. Dental crowns are used to repair teeth because of some type of damage.

Crowns can be used for cosmetic applications, which means they make your smile look better. Or they can also be used on severely damaged teeth where the only option is to put a crown on to save the tooth, or to extract the tooth completely.

Crowns are a much more serious operation than fillings. They usually take two dentist visits because a mold of your teeth has to be taken and sent off to a dental lab for the crowns to be made.

Although the latest technology, that of CEREC crowns, can make this procedure happen in one dentist visit.  The big selling point of CEREC is “crowns in one day”.

One of the big differences between crowns and fillings is that a crown fixes a tooth by completely covering the damaged area and not just filling in a small location.


When you have a tooth that is rotted too much, it is too far gone, the dentist will have to simply remove it.

Here are a few reasons why a dentist will need to extract a tooth:

-the tooth for whatever reason is unable to push past the gum line and becomes infected.

-a wisdom tooth that is coming in at a bad angle, or a wisdom tooth that does not grow properly.

-a mature tooth that is above the gum line that has become damaged beyond repair.

In the situations listed above the dentist will remove the tooth from the jawbone and pull it out. This is a minor surgery. And afterward, the disturbed gum area is sewn up with stitches.

Bridges and implants

You have a couple of options you need to pick when deciding to replace a missing or damaged tooth. One way is with a dental bridge. A bridge is a fake tooth that is manually attached to the surrounding healthy tea in such a manner that the fake tooth blends in and is indistinguishable from the real healthy teeth.

The other way to replace a missing tooth is to create a full implant. An implant is a fake tooth but it also has a root, meaning that there is a metal rod that is extended into the job to secure a fake tooth. Over time the jawbone will feel around the metal rod creating a secure footing for the fake tooth.

There are benefits to both bridges and implants, consult with your dentist to see which is the best for your situation.

Here is a good article explaining the difference between a bridge and an implant:


Braces might be a controversial pick for a dental procedure. Usually, you won’t get braces from a general or family dentist. Usually, you go to a specialist, called an orthodontist that works solely with braces.

The goal of braces is to straighten teeth into a line your bite if it happens to be off. Since orthodontists are technically a form of dentistry, they are licensed dentist, braces fall under the category of the most common procedures you would get at a dentist.

There are many other procedures a dentist can do, these are just the most common. Nearly everyone at some point in their life will get one will get at least one of these procedures done by their dentist. Often several if not all of these.

And of course, there are other dental procedures outside of the ones listed above. Or that your family dentist will usually refer out to a specialist like an endodontist ( or an oral surgeon.

Hopefully, you found this to be useful.

Of course, no one wants any of these dental procedures done, right? Heck no!

Well, it’s okay to go in for regularly scheduled cleanings. That’s not the end of the world. But having cavities filled and teeth extracted is just no fun. That’s why you always want to make sure that you take the preventive measures that are completely in your control.

Floss your teeth every single day. Flossing your teeth is the biggest thing that you can do to prevent dental problems, and most dental problems are the result in one way or the other of plaque build-up and tooth decay. Floss your teeth it will pay you great dividends over your lifetime.

It helps to brush your teeth twice a day as well. now if you want to be lazy and only brush your teeth once a day, make sure you brush your teeth right before you go to bed. This is also when you want to floss your teeth as well.

It’s best to do this at night right before you go to sleep because that way you remove the plaque that would otherwise sit on your teeth enabling decay for eight to ten hours before you wake up and take care of your teeth.

Hopefully this helps and take care of your smile.

Is fluoride bad for your teeth? Let’s be clear

The Fluoride is a mineral that has the unique ability to bind with minerals that make tooth enamel, strengthening it. So is fluoride bad for your teeth? Given its ability to make dental enamel more resistant to acid attacks, we could say no. In fact, fluoride performs a truly fundamental protective and remineralizing function: every day our teeth are exposed to the aggression of the acids produced by plaque, capable of affecting the protective shield of the teeth over time.

The demineralization of the teethopens the door to the development of caries, small at first, then potentially larger and deeper as the tooth demineralizes more and more. Thanks to its ability to remineralize tooth enamel and make teeth stronger and harder to attack by caries-causing acids, fluoride is a crucial mineral for oral health. But why is he then accused and why are there those who say that fluoride is bad for the teeth ?

It must essentially be said that fluoride can be administered to adults and children through two methods: topically and systemically. Fluoride taken topically, or external, is that commonly contained within classic toothpastes, mouthwashes or other products used for the health and hygiene of the mouth, including some chewable gum that should replace the use of the toothbrush when you are out of the house .

Is this type of fluoride bad for your teeth? No, if you do not overdo it and if you do not take it in the wrong way: the fluoride taken through toothpaste or mouthwash, acts externally on the tooth, on the enamel, on the gums and on the mucous membranes of the mouth helping to strengthen its defenses against attack of plaque and bacteria.
The fluoride is thus activated by brushing the teeth or by rinsing the mouth, so this use of fluoride is not bad for the teeth. The situation is different when young children use fluoride-rich toothpastes without parental supervision, because the risk of ingestion is high. In that case, is fluoride bad for your teeth? No, but it’s not really healthy to ingest it in this form.

The other way to take fluoride is systemically : pediatricians or specialized dentists often prescribe fluoride in the form of supplements, to be mixed with water or food, to be taken by children to strengthen dental enamel. Is this type of fluoride bad for your teeth or health? In reality, even in this case, as long as it is under medical supervision, fluoride has the specific task of reinforcing the components of the dental enamel by helping the little ones to develop healthy teeth and resistant to the attacks of bacteria responsible for the formation of plaque and therefore of caries.

So why are there those who say that fluoride is bad for your teeth or health? Let’s try to better understand what are the mechanisms that could lead to some problems and how to avoid them.

What tools should be used for proper oral hygiene?

Daily preventative hygiene, including brushing, flossing, and mouthwash, helps keep dental problems under control before they get worse.

The toothbrush: which one to choose and how to use it
The toothbrush is the most important tool for the prevention of tooth decay and gum disease, because it is able to remove food residues and bacterial plaque .

It is important to first identify the toothbrush that best suits your needs. The dentist will advise you whether to use soft, medium or hard bristles depending on the conformation of the gum. The ideal would be to use a small brush enough to reach all surfaces of the teeth, with soft bristles and rounded tip .

Another debated topic is the choice between manual or electric toothbrush . The latter guarantees a deeper cleaning, so it is recommended to use it at least when you are at home. When traveling, for greater convenience, the classic toothbrush is fine, which is still very effective if used correctly.

We talked about it more in depth here: electric toothbrush vs manual

The brushing technique changes depending on whether it is the teeth present in the upper or lower arch. For the teeth present in the upper upper arch the action must take place from the top downwards , while for those present in the lower arch from the bottom upwards . This allows you to reach the interproximal spaces without damaging the gums.

Remember to tilt the brush about 45 ° and carefully clean the back of the teeth as well, using the tip of the toothbrush if necessary.

The toothbrush should be replaced every 3 months.

Learn About Our Dental Approach

Our dental practice is devoted to restoring and enhancing the natural beauty of your smile using conservative, state-of-the-art procedures that will result in beautiful, long lasting smiles!

High Standards

A high standard of excellence in personalized dental care enables us to provide the quality dental services our patients deserve. We provide comprehensive treatments and use restorative and cosmetic dentistry to achieve your optimal dental health. Should a dental emergency occur, we make every effort to see and care for you as soon as possible.

Education & Prevention

At Rutherford Family Dentistry, we focus not only on treatment, but prevention. We can cerainly get your teeth and gums healthy and repair any damage, just like any dental office can. But we go a step further and show you how to avoid dental problems before they become problems. We start with a very through examination. Most of our patients say they’ve never had such an extensive examination of their gums or teeth. We examine your bite, how your teeth come together, we look for oral cancer, gum disease, signs of wear on the teeth and in short, any problem that you may encounter at a later date. We want to head off problems and make your teeth and gums healthier so you will be spending less time in the dental chair!

Digital X-rays: Provide quality images with much less radiation than conventional x-rays and you see your results immediately!

The Laser ScBober Finds Ultrasmall Cavities Years Earlier: If you are like most of us, you’ve had the dentist find a cavity, place a rather large filling, and wonder why the filling is so large if the cavity wasn’t there just six months before. The answer is that the cavity was there six months before – it just wasn’t big enough to show on X-rays, and it wasn’t visible to the dentist yet. The laser scBober finds ultrasmall cavities years earlier, when the cavity can be repaired with a small invisible bonded filling.

Intra-Oral Camera: This amazing device is a miniature video camera that displays a closeup picture of the inside of your mouth. You can see for yourself what work needs to be done and which teeth are doing fine.

As a practice, we are true believers that preventive care and education are the keys to optimal dental health. We strive to provide “dental health care” vs. “disease care”. That’s why we focus on thorough exams – checking the overall health of your teeth and gums, performing oral cancer exams, and taking x-rays when necessary. We also know that routine cleanings, flossing, sealants, and fluoride are all helpful in preventing dental disease. Not only are we focused on the beauty of your smile, we’re also concerned about your health. A review of your medical history can help us stay informed of your overall health, any new medications, and any illnesses that may impact your dental health.

Uncompromising Safety

Infection control is also very important to us and we meet or exceed the standards recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Training & Expertise

As your dental health professionals, we want you to be confident knowing that we are a team of highly trained and skilled clinicians. We pride ourselves in providing the care you need to keep your smile healthy. To give you the best possible service and results, we are committed to continual education and learning. We attend dental lectures, meetings, and dental conventions to stay informed of new techniques, the latest products, and the newest equipment that a modern dental office can utilize to provide state-of-the-art dental care. Also, being members of various professional dental associations helps us to stay abreast of the changes and recommendations for our profession.

A Positive Experience

Building a foundation of trust by treating our patients as special individuals is vital to our success. We understand how uneasy some patients may feel about their dental visits, and how we can make a difference in providing a relaxing and positive experience. Our entire team is dedicated to providing you with excellent, personalized care and service to make your visits as comfortable and pleasant as possible.

When you visit us, our first goal is to establish a feeling of trust. Our job is to listen to you, respect you, educate you and not judge your decisions. Dr. Simpson understands you might be anxious about the process of receiving dental care. She makes it a point to carefully explain your proposed treatment plan and unhurriedly answer all of your questions. Only then will she take your gently through your treatment. Modern dentistry has many techniques, local anesthetics and relaxation methods to increase your comfort. The more involved you are in making your dental health decisions, the less room there is for fear and uncertainty.

We thank you for allowing us to take care of your dental needs and look forward to serving you.

Get Clean and Prevent Plaque

A comprehensive dental exam will be performed by your dentist at your initial dental visit.  At regular check-up exams, your dentist and hygienist will include the following:

  • Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs): Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss.  X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.
  • Oral cancer screening: Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
  • Gum disease evaluation: Check the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease.
  • Examination of tooth decay: All tooth surfaces will be checked for decay with special dental instruments.
  • Examination of existing restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, etc.

Professional Dental Cleaning

Professional dental cleanings (dental prophylaxis) are usually performed by Registered Dental Hygienists.  Your cleaning appointment will include a dental exam and the following:

  • Removal of calculus (tartar): Calculus is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth for some time and is now firmly attached to the tooth surface.  Calculus forms above and below the gum line and can only be removed with special dental instruments.
  • Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth.  It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva.  The bacteria produce toxins (poisons) that inflame the gums.  This inflammation is the start of periodontal disease!
  • Teeth polishing: Remove stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling.

​Family and Cosmetic Dentistry for the entire Family

When you visit our Anglers office your smile is our top priority. Dr. Bob Simpson and our entire team are dedicated to providing you with the personalized, gentle care that you deserve.

Dr. Simpson is an experienced and trusted dentist in Anglers who gives attention to all the many details that make General and Cosmetic Dentistry a success.

You can enhance your natural smile with conservative treatment or create an amazing new smile transformation with state-of-the-art technology.

Dental Implants, Invisalign ,and Porcelain Veneers are available to help you have a smile that is beautiful and healthy! Whether you are looking for preventive and comprehensive family care or a complete smile makeover, Dr. Simpson and her friendly staff are dedicated to your dental success.

Below are resources to help answer your dental questions.

Cleanings & Exams
Dental X-Rays
Cosmetic Dentistry
Smile Analysis
Dental Services
Frequently Asked Questions