What is General Dentistry? Common Treatments and Procedures

What is General Dentistry?

Or as I’d like to ask…What is in your mouth? 

A general dentist is your primary care provider for your oral health. Your dentist should be someone you see every 6 months for optimum oral health. Your mouth isn’t just about your teeth. The oral cavity can tell you a lot about your overall health throughout your body. Your mouth “talks to your body” and your “body talks to your mouth”

Preventative Care from General Dentists

A general dentist is a health care provider that works to ensure your teeth, gums, and oral cavity stay healthy.  Poor oral health can affect your entire body in the following ways:  Gum disease increase your risk of head and neck cancer, Cavities area caused by bacteria that spreads through kissing and sharing food.

Bacteria in your mouth travels throughout your body in your blood stream.  These bacteria can cause heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. 

Your general dentist is trained to detect early signs of cavities and gum disease to prevent your mouth from causing further health concerns throughout your body. https://www.aaosh.org/

Dentistry has come a long way.  Most patients wait until they are in pain to see a dentist.  Early detection is the key to pain free dentistry. The use of updated anesthesia and delivery techniques can make your dental experience completely pain free. 

What Services do General Dentists Offer?

Many general dentists use a combination of specialized care, including oral surgery, restorative services, and basic dental care treatments. Common general dentistry treatments include:

  • Dental exams and teeth cleanings
  • X-rays
  • Cavity fillings
  • Root canal treatment
  • Sleep apnea treatment
  • Gingivitis treatment
  • Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) treatment
  • Oral cancer screenings
  • Tooth sealants
  • Fluoride treatment
  • Cosmetic dentistry procedures
  • Minor oral surgeries, such as wisdom tooth removal and tooth extractions

Qualifications of a General Dentist

Dentistry is a “hands-on” practice. The profession requires four years of highly accredited education after completing a bachelor’s degree. This intensive education allows general dentists to gain dexterity, skills in performing tasks with their hands, as well as in-depth scientific knowledge about the field.

General dentists also specialize in specific types of procedures based on their individual skills and current needs of patients.

Find a general dentist

What can I Expect from my General Dentist Visit?

  • A comprehensive exam of your head, neck and teeth and tissues. This will include an oral cancer screening, diagnostic x-rays, gum health exam done using periodontal measurements. Also, many dentists are now including intra-oral camera pictures to give you the best view of any areas of concern.
  • A professional cleaning is recommended every 6 months unless your are a patient who has been diagnosed with periodontal disease (80% of American adults have gum disease) in which case you may need to visit the office more frequently.
  • A General Dentist can perform fillings, crowns, bridges, implant placement and restoration, tooth extractions as well as root canals.  Depending on the complexity of your procedure, you may be referred to a dental specialist in either surgery, gum specialists, crown and bridge specialists or a combination of multiple providers.
Progression of Dental Decay

Why is Dentistry so Expensive?

Dentistry doesn’t have to be expensive, regular professional cleanings by a dental hygienist and regular exams can diagnose early areas of concern which often stave off more expensive treatment.  

Don’t wait until it hurts…general dentist often hear  “Why would I fix it if it isn’t hurting?”  If you wait until you are in discomfort the procedure will most likely be more involved and therefore more expensive*

*costs are purely estimations of treatment fees.

General Dentists are Apart of Your Healthcare Team

Your general dentist can be a great partner in your healthcare team.  Your oral health affects every aspect of your life from esthetics to systemic health and general quality of life.  Dentistry is health care and should be made an important part of your healthcare regimen.  We are here to make you smile. 

Tina Skinner

Tina Skinner

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Curator: The DentalScout Team

25+ years of dental experience


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