Who is that the one health care provider you see quite any other? for several people, the solution is: their general dentist. There’s an honest reason for that—it’s because general dentistry is uniquely oriented toward the prevention of disease. In fact, it’s estimated that almost 65 percent of all dental procedures are either diagnostic or preventive. By placing a robust emphasis on oral health and hygiene, general dentists help people avoid the progression of oral diseases. If left untreated, these eventually end in pain, lost time at work or school—and an estimated cost of billions of dollars annually.
General dentists are the most providers of care to people of all ages. At a routine visit to your family dentist, you’ll probably have a radical examination of your mouth (including teeth, gums, and other structures), knowledgeable cleaning, and a discussion about your dental (and overall) health. If your exam reveals the presence of a cavity , you’ll probably even have a filling within the affected tooth. Yet these procedures, while common, are hardly the sole services your general dentist provides.
What Do General Dentists Do?
Of an estimated 143,000 dentists practicing in North America, some 80 percent are general dentists. Unlike specialists, who are mostly focused on a specific aspect of the practice , general dentists provide a good array of services that are vital to your continued health, including:
Preventive services — These assist you to maintain good oral health by stopping disease before it takes hold in your mouth. Regular exams (including diagnostic images like x-rays) and professional teeth cleanings are a cornerstone of prevention. Your general dentist may offer you detailed instructions to enhance your at-home oral hygiene, and should also recommend preventive treatments like sealants if needed. And if you lead a lively lifestyle, you’ll be fitted with a custom-made mouthguard at your dentist’s office.
Restorative Services — When a drag is found, your dentist will make sure you get timely and appropriate treatment. Probably the foremost common (and highly effective) dental restoration involves removing cavity and placing a filling within the affected tooth. But that’s not the sole restorative procedure general dentists provide. they provide you an area to travel once you need prompt treatment for dental trauma—for example, a broken, loosened or knocked-out tooth.
General dentists can diagnose and treat the causes of tooth pain or periodontal (gum) disease. they’ll also offer treatments for missing teeth, place crowns or bridgework, and assist you to get fitted with dentures. Some provide more advanced treatments, like massage therapy, orthodontics, and dental implants, as well.
Cosmetic Procedures — Many general dentists can assist you to get the sparkling smile you’ve always wanted with a variety of cosmetic procedures. These include teeth whitening, cosmetic bonding—even porcelain veneers. If a brighter smile is what you’re trying to find, ask your general dentist a few smile makeover.
Overall Health Concerns — In many respects, your oral health is often seen as a mirror of your general health. Some dental problems may reflect issues in other parts of your body, and the other way around . for instance, untreated oral infections can cause poorer control of diabetes, an increased incidence of the disorder, and complications during pregnancy. General dentists are trained to spot these and other issues and offer appropriate treatment or referral when needed. One special concern is obstructive apnea, a potentially deadly condition that will sometimes be treated with an oral appliance. General dentists also can offer nutritional counseling, advice on tobacco cessation and general health and wellness information.
What Qualifications Do General Dentists Have?
After completing their undergraduate education, all general dentists have successfully completed four years at an accredited school of dentistry. additionally, they need to fulfill the wants (including testing and continuing education) of state licensing boards. Some dentists have the initials DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) following their names, while others have DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery). the sole difference between the 2 is that the title used on their dental school’s degrees; their education and training are strictly equivalent.
In addition to their standard training, some general dentists receive special training especially areas—for example, implant placement, cosmetic procedures, or other therapies.
When Should I See The Dentist?
The short answer is every six months for preventative services—and otherwise, whenever you’ve got a priority about your oral health. you’ll have a transparent signal (such as a toothache or bleeding gums) that something in your mouth needs attention. Or, you’ll have heard of a cosmetic procedure that you’d wish to determine more about. In either case, don’t hesitate to call the dental office.
In terms of routine dental appointments, there isn’t one schedule that matches all patients. counting on your individual circumstances, your dentist might want to ascertain you twice a year, every three months, or another interval. Whatever it’s, don’t let those appointments go! maintaining with the recommended schedule of preventive treatment and practicing effective oral hygiene reception are the 2 best ways to stop the dental disease—and keep your smile looking bright and healthy for the remainder of your life.