When to Seek Dental Services

The best time to seek dental services is before you actually begin to experience any problems with your teeth or gums. Unfortunately, most of us have an inherent fear of dentists and this fear stops us from going to the dentist unless it is absolutely necessary. The truth is, by going for regular biannual dental checkups you will actually reduce the likelihood of experiencing any major problems with your teeth.

What Do Dental Services Actually Entail?

Dental services do not just include extractions and root canals. During your regular checkup, your dentist will clean and scale your teeth to remove any existing tartar or plaque buildup and will check your gums and teeth for any sign of decay or cavities. Depending on the condition of your teeth, your dentist may then recommend the best dental treatment option or combination of options.

Here are some of the many options that are included in the dental services that may be offered to you and what they are used for:

Sealants and Bonding: Tiny grooves on the surface of the teeth act as perfect havens for bacteria. When a sealant is used, it seals up the grooves and protect the teeth against decay and cavities. Bonding helps to repair discolored, chipped or crooked. In both these processes, the color is carefully chosen to match your natural tooth coloration so that it looks as natural as possible.

Fillings: Fillings are used when there is already a cavity. They help seal up the cavity and prevent any further decay and can be either the direct or indirect type.

Bridges: When you have a missing tooth or missing teeth, the other teeth eventually shift their position in an attempt to fill in the empty space. This could in time result in a change in the overall shape of your face and also causes problems when eating. Dentists use bridges to fill in these gaps so that it prevents any further problems.

Dentures and Dental Implants: Both of these are basically prosthetic teeth that are used to replace missing teeth. While dentures are removable, dental implants are fixed.

Extractions: This is usually the last option that a dentist will resort it. Most dentists will do their best to strengthen and save your original tooth. However, sometimes it is just not possible and the only option is to extract it. In earlier days, this was done with a localized anesthetic. This meant you were aware of everything that was going on and it could be scary. Today, most dentists will give you the option of sedation dentistry, where, with the help of a general anesthesia you are blissfully unaware of the proceedings.

General Dental Services

General dentistry is a broad field, seeing that the kind of dental services offered can be performed by any dentist, specialized or not. Some of the procedures done and services are:

1. Diagnostic and Preventive Dentistry

The objective of preventive dentistry is to stop the advancement of dental problems and to eliminate the chances of them developing altogether. Some of the procedures done include scaling, which is the removal of plaque and tartar using an ultrasonic scaler. Sealants work like fillings but can be placed before the cavities develop. They are used especially on children’s teeth, which are at a greater risk of developing caries.

Preventive dental care starts at home, by regular brushing, at least twice a day, eating healthy foods and flossing properly.

At the dentists’ office, your teeth, gum and tissue swill be examined using special oral cameras and x-rays. This gives the dentists a chance to see and detect any problems with the internal structures of the teeth.

2. Restorative

As implied by the name, it is the correction of existing problems

The procedures include root canals and Dental fillings. Fillings, made of gold, silver or porcelain are put in cavities to cover them up and restore the functioning of the tooth. The most common area where caries develop are on molars and premolars. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reported in 2012 that dental caries is the most common health problem among Australians. This data was obtained from the National Survey of Adult Oral Health.

Broken or chipped teeth are sometimes also treated using fillings.

A root canal is done when the pulp is severely infected. The pulp of the tooth is a very sensitive region. It contains living tissues responsible for supplying nutrients to the tooth. When it is infected, the risk of losing the whole tooth increases more than twice. Sometimes the tooth loses sensation when the nerves are infected. The root canal filling is done to save the tooth instead of you losing it. What happens is that the dentist drills into the pulp, with the patient under anesthesia, and removes the infected part. Some nerves are also removed if they are affected.

The part of the pulp that is removed is replaced by a filler substance called gutta percha. It is tough, and cemented into place while in melted form. Many times, after root canal therapy, the cusps of the teeth are covered using a crown to cover it.

Dental implants are also restorative.

Surgery is done when all other means prove ineffective or after initial examination by the general dentist.

Cosmetic Dentistry

As much as more complex procedures in aesthetic dentistry need specialists like prosthodontists, a general dentist can fix veneers. These are colored like the enamel, made mainly out of porcelain and worn over the teeth to cover stains or to hide chipped teeth. Where tooth reduction by sculpting is needed before placing the veneer, you may be referred to a specialist depending on the degree of

Bleaching or whitening, is also a cosmetic procedure that can be done. Chemicals or a combination of these and light are used to lighten the teeth. Afterwards, it can be safely recommended that you do the rest of the whitening at home.

A New Diagnostic Model For Identifying Urban Problems

How can city planners ensure they are diagnosing urban problems, such as blight, correctly? Implementing solutions based on a wrong diagnosis harms residents and business. One way to avoid a wrong diagnosis is to base the diagnosis on knowledge already on record about the problems.

There are two dictionary definitions of diagnosis but each definition leads to a different decision model for diagnosing problems, causes and solutions.

In the first definition, diagnosis is defined as the analysis of the cause(s) or nature of a problem.

This model is often used by city planners to diagnose problems such as urban blight. Undesirable phenomena (such as physical deterioration of buildings or neighborhoods) are identified as problems and the possible causes are then analysed. Solutions are designed to influence the causes. Published data is also used to describe the problems and validate solutions.

But these undesirable phenomena are often subjective and personal observations; in some studies they have been identified as blight. There may also be multiple causes of these observations ranging from neglect to lack of maintenance and these causes have also been labelled as blight as well. Studies have indicated that a diagnosis of observations and their likely causes will be speculative and based on assumptions.

In the second definition, diagnosis is defined as the act of identifying a health problem, specifically a disease or an illness, based on prior knowledge of the problem. The medical decision model depends on recorded knowledge to diagnose health problems and has been successfully used, discussed and tested by physicians throughout the world for centuries.

The simple idea behind this model is that recorded knowledge about a problem is necessary before it can be identified.

If this medical model is applied to diagnosing problems in cities it will be to identify problems based on recorded knowledge. This knowledge is gained from professional training about the structure and functioning of cities and from published updates from recognized sources.

The point of this model is that the practitioner, whether a physician or a city planner, must have recorded knowledge about a problem, its causes and its solution before it can be diagnosed.

Recorded knowledge about problems, causes and solutions is required whether health problems such as diseases or urban problems such as blight are be diagnosed correctly. If there is limited or no knowledge about a problem it can not be diagnosed, even if the observations are considered undesirable.The same applies to causes and solutions.

While published data is essential for diagnosing problems in the medical model it is optional in the model based on identifying causes where it is often used to describe observations and/or their causes or to validate conclusions.

There are therefore very good reasons for city planners to use the medical decision model when diagnosing urban problems to ensure that their diagnosis is correct.

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