Planning and Preparing for Dental Procedures: Your Questions Answered

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Planning and Preparing for Dental Procedures: Your Questions Answered

Making decisions about your smile can be confusing. Should you have a tooth pulled or get a root canal? Should you get adult braces or stick with a retainer? Should you use at-home whitening remedies or have your teeth professionally whitened? If questions like these are keeping you up at night, you've come to the right place. I used to stress out over routine dental procedures, and as a result, I did loads of research on everything dental-related. To help others, I'm using this blog as a place to collect, review and share what I've learned through the years. I hope you can use the information here to help you plan and prepare for your next dental appointment.

Are Cosmetic Dental Procedures Painful?

Many people fear dental treatment because of the pain involved with some dental procedures, such as root canal surgery. This can leave patients feeling nervous about going to the dentist. Some people even avoid dental treatment because of their fear of pain, even when they need urgent treatment. Fortunately, cosmetic dentistry isn't as invasive or painful as surgical or general dentistry.

Cosmetic dentistry can give you a more beautiful smile while minimizing the pain and discomfort you feel during your treatment. Here are some of the most common cosmetic procedures along with the level of pain you can expect to experience.

Composite bonding is painless and non-invasive

Composite bonding can help patients who have suffered minor damage to their teeth. There is no surgery or removal of tooth structure during this procedure. Your dentist will simply cover minor tooth imperfections like staining or chipping with composite bonding, leaving your teeth looking as good as new with no pain.

In-office teeth whitening is painless

At-home whitening is often painful because the over-the-counter whitening trays are usually ill-fitting. In a cosmetic dentistry practice, the whitening experience is pain-free. Your dentist will protect your gums from damage while whitening your teeth and you might only experience some slight sensitivity after the whitening treatment. This is easily treatable with pain medication.

Invisalign causes some initial minor pain

If you want an orthodontic treatment that doesn't give you too much discomfort, then Invisalign is ideal. While you might experience some initial discomfort as you get used to each new aligner in your treatment schedule, this will soon pass. Again, some over-the-counter painkillers will be enough to alleviate the minor pain.

Porcelain veneers may cause some minor sensitivity

Porcelain veneers cause slightly more discomfort than composite bonding, which is a similar but less effective treatment. This discomfort stems from the need to remove some tooth enamel before the veneers can be placed on your teeth. As a result, you may experience sensitivity for a short while following your treatment. However, this sensitivity should pass within a few days.

Choose sedation dentistry if pain is a major issue

Although cosmetic dentists do provide anesthesia for their patients, you might not like the idea of needles. Fortunately, some cosmetic dentists do offer sedation dentistry, which could be in the form of laughing gas or pills. These methods are needle-free and will leave you feeling relaxed during your treatment.

If you wish to improve your smile, don't let your fear of pain stop you from exploring the treatment options available to you. Contact a local cosmetic dentistry practice to learn more.