General dentists treat tooth decay, gum disease, injury, infection, cavities, and tooth loss. It's your primary care doctor, but for your mouth and oral health!
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General Dentistry: Services & Procedures
Routine dental care is something that everyone needs starting in childhood and continuing throughout adulthood. Getting regular dental care is a way to avoid preventable issues and catch problems before they worsen. In many cases, oral health complications like tooth decay and gum disease are treatable. Further, with the help of general dentistry, many are preventable, too.
Avoiding general dental care can lead to severe issues in the future, including pain, infection, and tooth loss. There is no need to suffer pain and discomfort in your mouth because most problems are treatable. For example, a minor cavity can lead to tooth loss if left untreated. While tooth decay is a prevalent issue, a visit to your local dentist will treat and correct the matter. What are the two (2) most significant steps you can take in caring for the health of your mouth, gums, and teeth? First, find a general dentist. Second, commit to routine dental care.
What Does General Dentistry Mean?
General dentists are your primary care dental provider. General dentists provide a wide range of services designed to treat and prevent dental conditions, including the following:
- Teeth cleanings
- Digital imaging
- Root canals
- Dental crowns
- Inlays and Onlays
- Tooth Implants
Your general dentist offers the primary oral health treatments you will need.
What Does a General Dentist Do?
A general dentist cares for your overall oral health, including treatment of your teeth and gums. Do you have a dentist? If not, think of your primary care physician in the same way as a general dentist. Take the first step and establish care with a dentist accepting new patients. Next, exams and preventative care like prophylactic cleanings will keep your mouth healthy. Smile Generation recommends visiting your local dentist twice a year. As a result, you may avoid dental dilemmas like gingivitis and decaying teeth.
Additionally, dental x-rays and visual examinations reveal problems requiring treatment. In other words, the more your dentist sees you, the more they can plan a course of action. General dentistry also includes diagnostic services and treatment for oral health complications. A qualified general dentist provides comprehensive medical care for your teeth and gums in the following ways:
- Preventative services: A big part of getting general dentistry care twice per year is to prevent common oral problems. Two (2) of the most common types of dental problems include gum disease and decay. Proper dental care can help prevent both of these issues. Research estimates that nearly half of adults 30 and over have some type of gum disease. One (1) of the leading causes of gum disease is poor oral hygiene. Bacteria builds up on the teeth in the form of plaque and then hardens into tartar. If plaque and tartar remain, they can lead to gum disease. During a routine visit, your dentist removes plaque and tartar during the deep cleaning process. You should receive oral health treatments at least twice per year as a way to minimize the risk of developing gum disease.
Cavities are even more common than gum disease, with 92% of adults between 20 and 64 having cavities. General dentistry services help prevent cavities by removing decay-causing bacteria during routine cleanings. None of us are immune to the risks of developing common oral problems like gum disease and decay. Everyone can benefit from the preventative services that are available through routine general dentistry.
- Diagnostic services: A consistent oral care routine, nutritious diet, and regular visits to the dentist can all work together to help prevent the majority of dental problems. Unfortunately, other factors like heredity and certain medical conditions can make some people more susceptible to oral issues. General dentistry provides diagnostic services such as imaging and examinations to diagnose dental problems as early as possible. Gum disease is an example of an oral issue that can be diagnosed early with routine dental care. The first stage of gum disease is very treatable and often comes with mild symptoms. However, if gum disease progresses, it can lead to serious side effects like receding gums and bone loss. The diagnostic services available through general dentistry are an essential part of catching minor oral problems before they progress and lead to serious side effects.
- Treatment: General dentistry services include medical care for a wide range of dental problems. A general dentist can provide restorative dental care for issues caused by decay. Dentists treat gum disease, gingivitis, tooth decay, and chipped teeth. Also, a qualified dentist may identify, treat, and correct a few cosmetic dilemmas. The best place to start with any type of oral problem or concern is at a general dentist.
What Procedures Does a General Dentist Perform?
A general dentist treats commonplace dental problems like decay, gum disease, injury, infection, and tooth loss. Like going to your primary care doctor, a dentist ensures your mouth is in good health.
- Fillings: Decay can cause teeth to erode. Early on, decay may only show up on an X-ray or present as a small hole or dark spot. If left untreated, deterioration continues to eat away at the gums and leads to severe pain and tooth loss. General dentists can offer a range of filling options designed to eliminate the decay and prevent it from progressing further. Amalgam fillings and composite fillings are two examples of options commonly available for treating cavities.
- Imaging (X-rays): Imaging is used in general dentistry to evaluate oral health and diagnose problems. Dental X-rays can reveal issues like cavities, impacted teeth, and other complex problems to see with the naked eye. This type of imaging can help general dentists diagnose and treat problems early on before they worsen and cause further damage.
- Emergency dentistry: General dentists can also provide emergency dental care in cases of pain or injury. A painful cavity or injured tooth can be a dental emergency. For this reason, general dentists offer emergency dental care when needed. Emergency dental care procedures include treatment of painful decay, chipped teeth, cracked teeth, and lost teeth.
- Reconstructive dental care: Reconstructive dental care includes general dentistry services related to the structure and function of the teeth. It has procedures such as dental implants, bridges, crowns, and onlays. Reconstructive dental treatment restores the function and appearance of your teeth.
- Preventative examinations: A core part of the work that general dentists do is providing preventive exams. Everyone needs to get a preventative dental examination at least twice a year to protect against common dental ailments. During these visits, the dentist does a visual inspection of the teeth, gums, and mouth to check for issues that require treatment.
Should I go to a Regular Dentist or a Specialist?
There are currently 12 dental specialties recognized in the United States. Are you having issues with your teeth, gums, or overall oral health? It is not easy to know where to look for help. To determine if you should see a general dentist or a specialist, you need to answer the question "What does a general dentist do?"
One of the essential roles of a general dentist is diagnostics. A well-trained general dentist diagnoses a wide range of dental and oral health problems. Whenever you experience an issue with your teeth, gums, or mouth, your first appointment should be with your general dentist. Suppose you have an issue beyond the general dentist's level of expertise. In that case, your dentist refers you to a specialist, so you receive the appropriate treatment and care.
What Should I Consider When Finding A Dentist?
The general dentist you choose is someone you will see at least twice a year for many years. For this reason, find a dentist you like and trust. If you don't fear going to the dentist's office, you will have a better experience. Most importantly, you will take precautionary steps ensuring you receive the highest level of dental care. The first step is to start searching for a dentist close to where you live or work. It will be easier to keep your scheduled appointments and get emergency dental care if your dentist is in a location close to your home or work.
The second step in choosing a general dentist is to search for one who offers the preventive services and level of care you need. Remember, not all general dentists are equal. While a dentist may provide the same checklist of therapies, in some instances, a dentist may solely focus on three (3) or four (4) areas of treatment. The quality of care you receive from a dentist may vary by the dental office. Smile Generation recommends asking questions. Don't forget to ask about the available services, so you receive high-quality care in your online search.
Find A General Dentist Near You, Today!
The Smile Generation makes it simple to search for a highly qualified dentist near you. Throughout the country, we have a network of dentists dedicated to providing comprehensive care, using modern dentistry methods, and expanding their knowledge through continued education. The first step is using the Find A Dentist tool. We've made it easy to search on our website for a top-notch dentist near you. Using your location, you may search by the name of the dentist or office.