General dentists provide primary dental care to patients of all ages. In a common setup, they take care of the dental health of the entire family. This dentist diagnoses and treats issues with your teeth, as well as recommends the correct course of prevention for diseases that affect the gums and jaws. They also provide services related to the general maintenance of one’s oral health and hygiene.
Specific Areas of Practice
General dentistry covers different areas of specialty. A general dentist can provide services such as gum disease treatment, root canal therapy, tooth cleaning, and restorative care. They may also install crowns and bridges, dental implants, partial and complete dentures, mouth guards, and tooth sealants. They can do oral surgery and certain cosmetic procedures as well.
General dentists may also study a specific area called Operative Dentistry, Cardiology, and Biomaterials. This special branch of general dentistry is concerned with the advanced knowledge, clinical skills, and expertise in operative dentistry, educational theory, restorative dental materials, dentistry techniques, and teaching skills. They may also opt to move on to postgraduate training and specialized practice, such as endodontics, orthodontics, periodontics, and prosthodontics, among others.
A general dentist has finished at least three years of undergraduate education and four years of dental school. Upon completion, they will gain either the DDS or DMD title. DDS means Doctor of Dental Surgery while DMD stands for Doctor of Dental Medicine. Either way, these professionals work in the same level. The university usually determines whether they are offering a DDS or DMD course. But generally speaking, the two courses are similar to each other.
General Dentistry and You
Consult with your general dentist to develop a customized dental hygiene plan. This plan usually incorporates dental check-up, tooth cleaning, tooth scaling, and x-ray. You have to visit your dentist every six months for proper oral health and prevention of oral diseases. If an oral disease is diagnosed, they will immediately recommend the best course of treatment. All diagnostic and restorative procedures will be handled by this dentist. The most common oral problems that they handle include tooth decay, trauma, and defects. They may also treat certain mouth diseases.
They can also perform certain cosmetic procedures although some may require additional training. Some of the services a general dentist may provide also include teeth whitening, porcelain veneer installation, TMD or TMJ therapy, tobacco cessation, and nutrition counseling.
Long-Term Oral Health
Your long-term oral health is the responsibility of your dentist. To achieve that, they undergo continuing education to keep them updated with the latest dental trends and procedures. They also affiliate themselves with organizations such as the AGD (Academy of General Dentistry) or the ADA (American Dental Association). They may also opt to practice in a group setting to provide complete healthcare.
General dentistry is mostly preventive. The main role of these dentists is to avert the development of serious oral problems that may otherwise require costly treatments. Visit your dentist regularly to ensure the exceptional oral health of your entire family.