Top 5 Common Dental Procedures Explained

  • Dental Assistant
  • March 11, 2024
  • 3 min read
Common Dental Procedures Explained

A visit to the dentist can be a nerve-wracking experience, or it can spark your interest in how these dedicated medical professionals keep their patient’s mouths and teeth free of disease. If you’ve ever wondered exactly what some of the procedures you’re undergoing going actually entail, here is out breaking of five of the most common dental procedures.

Know More: The Importance Of Dental Assistants In Every Practice

Common Dental Procedures Explained

Crowns or Caps

Crowns and caps fit over badly damaged, decayed, or misshapen teeth. During the crown or cap fitting, the tooth is first frozen with anesthesia and then filed down so the cap can fit over it.

Dental resin is used to make an impression of the tooth and the cap in then created from that mold using acrylic, metal, porcelain, or porcelain bonded to metal. Porcelain crowns are generally used at the from of the mouth, as they look the most like real teeth, while metal crowns are normally used at the back of the mouth.


Where a cap or crown is normally used to protect a damaged tooth, veneers, which are created from strong, thin pieces of porcelain that are bonded to the teeth, are often used for cosmetic reasons, such as making teeth look straighter or whiter.


Fillings are used to close up holes, or cavities, in the enamel of your teeth. These cavities are often used by decay or trauma and can lead to a bacterial infection of the inside of the tooth if not treated.

To perform a filling, the dentist drills out the cavity to remove any infection and fills it with a composite filling known as dental amalgam. Depending on the patient’s specific oral health needs, the filling material may be made of metal.

Root Canals

If a bacterial infection has made its way into the center of the tooth, a root canal procedure may be needed to prevent the tooth from needing to be extracted. 

During a root canal, the dentist will open the tooth and clean out the infected tissue in the center. This space is then filled and the opening sealed. Keeping your tooth helps to prevent your other teeth from drifting out of line and causing jaw problems.


Severely damaged or diseased teeth may need to permanently extracted. Extractions may also be used during orthodontal work to reshape the mouth.

Extracting a tooth can often simply be done under local anesthetic with specialized pliers, but if the tooth it sufficiently fragile, the gum and jaw bone may need to be debrided in a surgical extraction, which is usually done under general anesthetic.

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Jessica Vazquez
Dental Assistant Program Chair

Originally from Southern California, Jessica moved to Las Vegas with her family before she found both a job as part of our Dental Assisting Team and her husband here. Jessica attended Sylmar HS in California and then Charter College for…Read Full Bio