Common General Dentistry Procedures

Common General Dentistry Procedures from Brighter Smile Family Dentistry & Orthodontics in Sterling, VAThere are many different procedures performed in the field of general dentistry. Some are relatively simple, while others are more complicated. Some are preventive, while others are therapeutic, meaning that they are intended to treat existing oral health complaints.

Preventive general dentistry procedures

Preventive procedures are performed to protect your teeth and gums from problems such as tooth decay and infection.

Dental cleanings

In addition to performing oral hygiene at home, you also need to have regular dental cleanings and examinations. Brushing and flossing can help prevent excessive plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth but cannot remove everything. A routine dental cleaning scrapes the built-up calculus away and polishes the teeth to get them as clean as possible. It may also involve a fluoride treatment to prevent tooth decay.


On the surface of some teeth, there are deep grooves that are harder to keep clean and free from plaque. Sealants consist of plastic resins that are painted onto the teeth. They seal the grooves and smooth them out so that plaque cannot get trapped there. Sealants help to prevent tooth decay by creating a barrier between the surface of the tooth and decay-causing bacteria.

Therapeutic general dentistry procedures

If there are oral health problems, such as cavities or infections, therapeutic procedures are intended to correct them.


A filling is one of the most common general dentistry procedures. When one of the teeth has a cavity, the procedure involves removing the decayed tissue and filling in the resulting gap with a hard, durable material. Most fillings consist of either metal amalgam or composite resin. They can generally be completed in about an hour and involve local numbing of the affected area to prevent any pain.


If the damage to a tooth is too extensive to treat with a filling, the dentist may perform a crown procedure instead. A crown is a tooth-shaped cap made of a durable material. It fits over the top of a damaged or decayed tooth to strengthen and support it. Before the crown can be placed, the tooth is prepared by removing some material so that the cap fits snugly over the tooth and among the other teeth.

Root canal

A root canal involves removing decayed or infected material from the innermost layer of the tooth. It is usually combined with a crown to protect the tooth from further damage. A root canal may be the last option to save a severely decayed tooth.


When a tooth is extracted, it can cause adverse changes to your oral health as a whole. To avoid these changes, dentists prefer to leave natural teeth in the jaw whenever possible and only perform extractions as a last resort. However, if the tooth is too unhealthy or unstable to remain in the mouth and no other treatment options are available, extraction may be the only option.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: General Dentistry in Sterling, VA


Some general dentistry procedures are intended to correct a specific dental problem, while others are intended to prevent them from occurring and maintain oral health.

Request an appointment or call Brighter Smile Family Dentistry & Orthodontics at 703-994-4044 for an appointment in our Sterling office.

Related Posts

How General Dentistry Can Treat A Loose Tooth

Loose teeth as a child can be exciting, but loose teeth as an adult are often worrisome and frustrating. Fortunately, general dentistry has ways to repair and care for them. If you have a loose permanent tooth, see your dentist right away to determine why it is loose and develop a plan to treat it.To…

How A General Dentistry Addresses Tooth Decay

Tooth decay occurs when bacteria in the mouth damage the tooth's enamel, causing cavities. General dentistry practices can help prevent tooth decay and treat it to avoid the pain, infection, and potential tooth loss that can result from cavities.Bacteria in the mouth is the cause of tooth decay. When these germs combine with food, plaque…

General Dentisty: How Important Is Flossing?

Three common general dentistry hygiene techniques are brushing, rinsing, and flossing. Brushing means using a toothbrush and toothpaste and rubbing paste-covered brush bristles across the surface of your teeth. Rinsing involves swishing a special liquid concoction, known as a mouthwash, around in your mouth, then spitting it out. Both practices leave behind a noticeable refreshing…