What Does A General Dentist Do?

What You Need To Know About General Dentistry

Getting To Know General Dentistry

What is general dentistry? General dentistry is a branch of the dental profession that involves a wide scope of oral health care. A general dentist typically treats all aspects of your mouth, including teeth cleaning and tooth removal or replacement. They also diagnose and treat issues such as cavities, gum disease, TMJ problems, and others. Schaumburg Dentistry is a general dentistry practice that has served the area for over 20 years. You can trust them with your dental needs. To find out if our services suit your goals, you can see the reviews on our website.

General dentists are the first point of contact when it comes to dental health care and the most common providers of dental care. An oral care specialist diagnoses, treats and manages short and long-term oral health needs. Checkups, tooth care, fillings, root canals, veneers, bridges, and preventative treatment are examples of common procedures.

About 80 percent of dentists provide general dental care. About 20 percent specialize in one of these areas:

  • Endodontics
  • Oral and maxillofacial surgery
  • Orthodontics
  • Pediatric dentistry
  • Periodontics
  • Prosthodontics
  • Dental public health
  • Oral and maxillofacial pathology

Have any questions? Read our FAQ Section.

General Dentistry Qualifications

The practice of general dentistry is very hands-on. A bachelor’s degree is the minimum educational requirement for the profession, followed by four years of highly accredited education. Through this intensive training, general dentists are able to gain dexterity, skills in executing tasks with their hands, as well as in-depth scientific knowledge about their profession.

Depending on their individual skills and the specific needs of their patients, general dentists also specialize in specific types of procedures.

What Are the Duties of General Dentists?

A general dentist performs routine oral health care, including preventative and restorative procedures.

Maintaining the teeth, mouth, gums, and tongue healthy is part of the preventative maintenance process. Fluoride treatments, routine exams, and cleanings are all preventative maintenance practices.

The dentist will begin restorative dentistry if preventative measures have not been successful. The term “restorative dental care” refers to all dental procedures aimed at treating or repairing damage caused by tooth decay, trauma, or disease. A crown, root canal, or filling is an example of restorative dentistry.

What Are the Benefits of General Dentistry?

General dentists work with patients to develop and implement a comprehensive oral health care plan. This is based on each patient’s individual needs, including age, medical history, diet, lifestyle choices (smoking), preventative measures taken already (fluoride treatments), and the dentist’s judgment. The general dentist can determine if a patient is in need of additional exams, specialized treatments, or referrals to other specialists.

Services Related to General Dentistry

Dentists who are specialists focus on one area of oral health, while many general dentists provide a broad range of dental procedures, including:

  • 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 (including teeth whitening)
  • Minor oral surgeries, such as wisdom tooth removal and tooth extractions
  • Some general dentists offer braces and clear aligner treatment
dentist using a dental mirror and explorer checking on a patient's mouth
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Dentists offer other types of services in general dentistry

If you are visiting a general dentist, you have many options to choose from, regardless of whether you are getting a routine dental exam or a minor oral surgery.
In addition to restorative and preventative treatments, oral surgery, and cosmetic dentistry, general dentists also perform:

1. Restorative Dentistry

Regular dental exams are conducted to check for cavities and signs of oral diseases. The dentist will recommend a direct or indirect restoration if you show signs of tooth decay. Dentistry’s “bread and butter” are restorative procedures.

2. Direct Restoration Materials

A direct restoration is one that’s made inside the mouth (such as a cavity filling). This type of restoration is also generally done in one office visit.

3. Composite

It is a tooth-colored, adhesive bonding material made of acrylic resin. For cavity fillings, dental bonds, inlays, and veneers, composite is one of the most common restorative materials.

4. Amalgam

This mixture consists mostly of mercury with an additional amount of silver, tin, and copper. Restoring back teeth (molars and premolars) typically involves using this material.

5. Conventional Glass Ionomer (CGI)

Use for tooth-colored restorations. Glass ionomers are not as durable as amalgams or composites. Restoring front teeth, which include incisors and canines, using CGI is effective. Premolars and molars are not restored with glass ionomer.

6. Resin-Modified Glass Ionomer (RMGI’s)

Ionomers like conventional glass, but with greater strength and added acrylic resins. This type of restoration is only for baby teeth.

Indirect Restoration Materials

Indirect restoration procedures are also available from general dentists (made from materials made outside the mouth using impressions of the patient’s teeth). These procedures, however, require at least two dental visits, unlike direct restoration procedures.

By removing decay and preparing the teeth for indirect restorative work, the first step is to prepare the teeth for indirect restorative work. An impression will then be taken. Impression replicas are created in a dental laboratory.

Common General Dentistry Procedures

Dental crowns – crowns that cover a tooth. Dentures are designed to replace decayed, missing, or damaged tooth structures with crowns. They do not, however, have the cosmetic appeal of veneers.
Dentures– a full or partial set of false teeth. 
Dental implants – are artificial tooth roots. Inlays and Onlays- dental fillings that are indirect, instead of direct. Inlays fit inside the top edges of teeth, while onlays extend over the cusps of teeth.
Wisdom tooth removal – commonly performed by dentists. The procedures are usually performed by oral surgeons or general dentists.
Root canals – When a patient’s tooth is infected in its soft tissues (such as nerves, blood vessels, and blood vessels), root canals might be recommended. You may avoid an extraction by having this treatment.
Tooth extractions – often required when a tooth has become severely decayed. An oral surgeon or dentist removes the tooth from its socket in the bone during the procedure in order to prevent further damage.

General dentistry is a field that requires specialized knowledge, skills, and training. Dentists who specialize in general dentistry are highly trained to provide preventative care for your teeth, as well as diagnose oral health problems. A general dentist will also work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan to improve the overall quality of your smile. A general dentist is the primary dental specialist who offers a wide range of oral health care services. They provide preventative, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry to maintain healthy teeth for their patients. General dentistry near me can be a great first step to maintaining the health of your smile.

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