Dentistry is constantly evolving. New techniques, materials and procedures are tried and tested to continually improve procedures for patients. This is a good thing or else we would still be living with wooden dentures and braces made animal intestines! (Seriously… ancient Egyptians were very inventive.)

What remains the same is that people want straight, beautiful teeth, and that oral health requires diligent care. In order to avoid jaw pain, tooth decay, bad breath and other types of discomfort, it is up to each individual to invest in their oral health.

Now that we are entering a new year, it’s a good time to look at what the most common dental procedures will be in 2020.

Most Common Dental Procedures in 2020

  • Dental Cleaning: A good cleaning never goes out of style, and it is the dental procedure that is probably most important. Regular cleanings – every six months – will help prevent cavities, gum disease and other more serious and painful conditions. Also called “scaling”, consistent cleaning appointments will also alert the dentist of other problems on the horizon.
  • Cosmetic: In the age of the selfie and all things social media, people are investing more and more into their physical appearance, and that includes cosmetic dental procedures. It looks like the trend will continue well into the next decade. Cosmetic procedures include whitening, veneers, tooth shaping, gap filling, and others.
  • Orthodontics: These dental procedures, including braces and Invisalign, sit on the cusp between health and cosmetic. In some cases, straightening the teeth is purely cosmetic, while in others, moving the teeth into alignment has positive long-term health benefits. Straight teeth are easier to clean and prevent lopsided wear and tear on teeth and gums.
  • Extractions: Removing teeth can be a painful procedure for a patient, but a necessary one in order to keep the rest of the teeth from crowding or causing infections. Wisdom teeth can cause untold pain if they erupt below the gum line and extraction may be part of the plan for braces.
  • Root Canals: When the root of the tooth that extends into the gums becomes infected or decays, a dentist will have to clear out the affected part and re-fill the tooth before sealing it. Root canals are common as people age and can be caught before the pain gets too extreme during regular cleaning appointments.
  • Fillings: Most people need to have fillings occasionally throughout their lives in order to combat cavities, it is one of the most common dental procedures there is for people young and old.
  • Caps and Crowns: These covers are permanently installed onto a tooth that has incurred some damage, like a crack or a chip. Caps and crowns are slipped over top of the visible tooth to restore its stability and so it can withstand the pressures of chewing and biting.

It will be interesting to see where dentistry goes in the future, with new breakthroughs in ways to drill into the teeth, new materials that can be used in dentistry, and new tools for cleaning and performing dental procedures. Of course, nothing can replace proper brushing and flossing, a diet low in sugar and regular dental checkups.

Oral health is a team effort, but dentists are often responding to their patients’ needs and conditions. In 2020, why not make a resolution to put your oral health first and do what you can to protect your teeth? Your teeth (and your dentist) will thank you for it!