Fillings are a common dental term describing a procedure in which the dentist cleans out tooth decay, or cavities, and fills in the hole. Another common term/procedure is a root canal, in which the dentist removes damaged or diseased tissue from the deep inner portion, or pulp, of the tooth.
If a person ignores deep tooth decay for too long, an abscess may form. An abscess is a very dangerous build-up of pus at the root of the tooth, where an infection can spread and destroy bone. Sometimes a tooth is too diseased or damaged to repair, so the dentist performs an extraction, which is the removal of the tooth from its socket in the jaw.
Crowns, or caps, are dental restorations that cover cracked or broken teeth. They prevent further damage and improve the look of the teeth. Bridges, or dentures, are false teeth that are removable. They fill in the gap from missing teeth.
Another way to fill in the gap is with an implant. This is a metal post that an oral surgeon plants into the jaw bone to hold a false tooth in place. Because an implant replicates a real tooth, it prevents further bone loss and provides a permanent option for replacing a lost tooth.