What Services Does a General Dentist Provide?

General DentistIn a nutshell, the definition of a general dentist is a dentist who provides services related to the general maintenance of dental health and hygiene.

The majority of the dentists practicing in the United States are general dentists who are usually the primary oral health care providers for people of all ages. Instead of specializing in a single area of dentistry they are trained in a wide variety of dental procedures. Much like a family physician who looks after the general health of the entire family, a general dentist can, and often does, take care of the dental health of all members of the family, from infancy on.

Preventative Dental Care

Ideally, most of what a general dentist does is preventative. With the long-term dental health of you and your family in mind, we educate our patients on how best to take care of their teeth and gums at home, which includes proper oral hygiene and good nutrition. We also encourage you to have regular, twice yearly, check-ups which allow us to closely monitor your oral health and, very importantly, remove the buildup of plaque that goes a long way in preventing serious problems that often require extensive treatment.

Tooth and Gum Disease

Oral health is extremely important to a person's overall health. For example, gum disease is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and preterm birth. A general dentist will evaluate, diagnose, and treat a wide array of problems that fall into two categories - cavities (tooth decay) and periodontal or gum disease. These range from filling a simple cavity, to root canal therapy if the infection has reached the pulp at the very center of the tooth. In this case, a root canal is the only way to remove the infected pulp yet preserve the natural tooth.

Cosmetic Dentistry

However, a general dentist is also aware that while oral health is of primary importance, how people look and how confident they are when they smile, also plays a large role in their outlook on life. While you may be relieved that your cavity has been filled or your gum disease successfully treated, you may not be happy with how your teeth look, especially when you smile.  Crooked, misaligned or stained teeth can play havoc with your self-image. We use one or more of a number of procedures that improve the shape and color of your teeth and give you a beautiful radiant smile. For example,

Whitening: Teeth that are naturally yellowish, or stained by red wine, coffee, tea, nicotine and certain medications can be made to look much whiter.

Veneers, Bonding and Crowns: The shape, length or size of an existing tooth can be changed with a veneer - a wafer-thin shell that is custom-made of either porcelain or composite resin bonded to the tooth. In a slightly different procedure, "bonding" is a process in which an enamel-like material is applied to the tooth, sculpted into the desired shape, then hardened and polished. Crowns or tooth-shaped "caps" that partially or completely cover the visible part of the tooth can also greatly improve its appearance.

Partial or Full Dentures

However, in a worst-case scenario in which you have lost some of all of your teeth to decay or gum disease, a general dentist can fit you with either either partial or full dentures which closely resemble your natural teeth and gums. A full set of dentures replaces all the teeth in your upper or lower jaw, while a partial denture replaces a limited number of missing teeth and is often attached to the existing teeth on either side of the gap.

As a general dentist, I will not only meet, but exceed, your expectations of great patient care and beautiful healthy teeth.

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