11 Most Common Dental Procedures

Many people have nervousness and anxiety when going to the dentist. It’s a natural response to the sounds of dental machines and other aspects of the dental office. Depending on what you are having done, there is little reason to have a “flight” response where your palms get sweaty and your blood pressure goes up.

People go to the dentist for all kinds of reasons, but there are a few common procedures that everyone should know about. Your Fuquay-Varina dentist thinks it’s important to be informed so you better know what to expect. In this article, we describe the most common dental procedures and what they entail.

Teeth Cleanings

Of all the common procedures, people who are engaging in good oral hygiene undergo teeth cleanings most frequently. Many dentists recommend a cleaning every six months and some once a year. Teeth cleanings are a very important part of oral health. The tools used during a cleaning are much better at getting plaque and tartar off than brushing at home with a toothbrush. A teeth cleaning causes very little discomfort and your teeth feel so much better afterward.

Tooth Extractions

Having an extraction sounds intimidating but, in fact, with the newest tools and anesthesia, it is virtually painless. During the procedure, you will either be thoroughly numbed or unconscious. Dentists do everything in their power to help you feel comfortable. When you have to get a tooth pulled, the pain you have endured leading up to the extraction is much worse than the pain you feel during the procedure. You may be sore afterwards but an extraction will prevent further pain.


Cavities and tooth decay are very common. Most of the time, a cavity will need to be filled, which is a quick procedure. You are numbed and the filling usually takes about an hour. You will feel some pressure during the procedure and hear the tool that gets the cavity out of the tooth. Sometimes the noise is worse than the procedure. So, if that is a problem for you, maybe try wearing your earbuds and listen to soothing music.


Crowns are used when the cavity is too large for a filling. The procedure for a crown is usually in two parts. In the first visit, the dentist gets the decay out and takes a molding of your tooth that is sent to a lab that crafts a properly fitted crown to cover the decayed area. Some offices even have “printers” in the office that create a crown based on photos taken by a special X-ray/computer. On the second visit, the dentist fits and secures the crown, which is a quick and painless process.

Teeth Whitening

Getting your teeth whitened is a procedure that has very little discomfort. For the most part, it is pain-free, however, some people are sensitive to the whitening agents that are used and may have some slight pangs because of it. Teeth whitening is a very simple procedure that requires no anesthesia. Bleaching done at the dental office is much quicker and safer than “at-home” teeth whitening kits. Most often, dentists use a special hydrogen peroxide gel and a special light source to whiten faster.


Veneers are a cosmetic solution for crooked or discolored teeth. A veneer is a thin covering that is custom-made like a shell that adheres to the front surfaces of your teeth. Mostly, they are used for correctional purposes but may be used for whitening also. Your dentist must remove some enamel from your natural teeth. The procedure is simple and painless for most people.

Root Canal

Just the sound of the words “root canal” can bring grimaces to people’s faces. But, in reality, the procedure has gotten a bum rap. Millions of teeth are treated and saved by root canal procedures each year. You are either numbed or put to sleep so you don’t feel anything during the procedure. Like with a tooth extraction, the pain you felt before the procedure is gone after you have the root canal. Root canals are performed when there is an infection in the root canal of a tooth. The procedure eliminates bacteria from the infected canal, prevents reinfection of the tooth, and saves the natural tooth. The inflamed, infected root pulp is removed and the inside of the tooth is carefully cleaned and disinfected. Afterward, the tooth is filled and sealed.


Bonding is a cosmetic procedure that repairs damaged, chipped teeth and changes the shape and color of a tooth. It is a composite resin that the dentist tints to match the natural shade of your teeth. Usually, the dentist does not need to remove a significant amount of enamel. Bonding is less invasive than veneers. It requires several layers to secure the resin and a light is used to dry each layer. Finally, the area is polished and cleaned so it fits naturally into the tooth. It is an easy procedure that is painless.

Braces and Invisalign

Traditional braces and Invisalign are treatments that straighten and correct crooked teeth. Classic, traditional braces use metal and other materials to slowly tighten teeth back into the proper place. Invisalign is less visible and a slower process that achieves the same goal. Generally, both methods cause your gums to ache when first applied, but the pain is easily alleviated with a pain reliever.

Dental Implants

There has been a large increase in the number of people getting dental implants in the last 20 years. Dental implants are an alternative to dentures or bridgework and work especially well when there aren’t enough teeth roots to attach bridgework or to build denture tooth replacements. Dental implants aren’t actual teeth; they are prosthetics that replace missing teeth. The dentist restores your mouth with an implant in two phases and the entire process can take around three to nine months. You are given an anesthetic during the dental implant procedure, so you should feel minimal discomfort if any at all.


Dentures replace teeth that have been lost or extracted. Immediate dentures can be worn right after extracting teeth. You will be prescribed pain relievers and antibiotics while the site heals. It takes a while to get used to wearing dentures. It is a process that involves wearing the dentures for the first 24 hours and then removing them before going to sleep afterward. Your gums will be sore for a while as your mouth adjusts to the oral apparatus. Gum tissue contracts as it heals so several visits to the dentist are necessary in order for the dentures to fit comfortably.

Contact Hamby Family Dental Center Today

The dental team at Hamby Family Dental Center is knowledgeable in all of the procedures outlined in this article. Contact us today for a checkup, teeth cleaning, or any dental procedures. We can diagnose the problem that is bothering you, help alleviate pain, and fix the tooth. Call us at 919-552-2431 or fill out the form below.

Appointment Request

  • By submitting this form, you are consenting to our privacy policy.