A General Dentist is Your First Gateway to Discovering Health-Related Issues
The common notion of hating visits to the dentist may be something we see on television or the movies, but in reality, visits to the dentist are pretty anticlimactic and comfortable. Most people would say the relationship they have with their dentist is as important as their general doctor or the pediatrician for their children. The role of a general dentist is increasingly significant given that a large majority of health-related issues are often discovered in the mouth. Dentists are also a key part of prevention.
Roughly 65 percent of all dental procedures are either preventative or diagnostic. The emphasis on oral health and hygiene that the field of general dentistry provides to patients is often underrated. A dentist can help people avoid worse complications and treat the ones that have already developed.
The Role of a General Dentist
General dentists are the primary providers of dental care to people of all ages. During a routine exam with your family dentist, you will receive a thorough examination of your mouth. This includes teeth, gums, and other structures of the mouth. Many times, a professional cleaning will be recommended. Your dentist will also have a conversation about your overall health and how it relates to dental care. If your exam reveals the presence of tooth decay, you will likely have a tooth filling done on the affected tooth. These types of procedures are common services that dentists provide, but they also provide so much more! A general dentist is also your main provider of cosmetic and restorative oral services.
What Services Can I Receive From a General Dentist?
In addition to providing routine exams, a general dentist performs the following services:
- Preventative Care: Preventative care includes maintaining healthy teeth and gums through regular exams. Dentists often use a diagnostic image (X-ray) of your mouth to receive further details. Your dentist will also recommend home treatments such as flossing, using mouthwash, and perhaps even the use of a mouthguard.
- Cosmetic: For some people, white teeth are not possible with brushing alone. But with the help of a general dentist, your goal of sparkling white teeth can be achieved. Other cosmetic procedures include porcelain veneers, which fix the loss of tooth enamel, discoloration or a chipped tooth.
- Restorative Services: The most common restorative services include fillings for infected teeth and removing tooth decay. As soon as your dentist sees an issue, a plan to treat it will be recommended. Other services include crowns, bridgework, root canals, orthodontics, and dental implants.
What Qualifications and Certifications Should I Look For in a Dentist?
Upon completing an undergraduate degree at an accredited dental school, individuals seeking to enter the field of general dentistry must fulfill additional requirements including testing for state licensing boards. You will often notice the initials after a dentist’s name. Some have the initials DMD, which stands for Doctor of Dental Medicine, while others have DDS, Doctor of Dental Surgery. The difference between the two is the title used on their dental school degree. However, the education, as well as training, is almost exactly the same.
In addition to their standard training, some dentists will receive training in specialized areas such as cosmetic procedures, implant placement, and other oral-related care procedures.
How Often Should I See My Dentist?
The simple answer is every six months. The real answer: it depends on your unique condition. If you experience a toothache or bleeding gums, you should see a dentist soon. These two initial signs are typically indicators of deeper problems.
For cosmetic procedures, patients are encouraged to discuss their goals with their primary dentist in order to create a proper course of action. In terms of routine dental appointments, there isn’t one schedule that fits everyone. The important item to remember is to keep up with the recommended schedule from your dentist. Preventive treatments from your dentist along with good oral hygiene practices at home are the two best ways to keep your mouth, gums, and teeth in their best shape.
At Ricardo Chavez, DDS, We Provide the Following Services:
- Cleaning and Exams
- Root Canals
- Dental Crowns and Bridges
- Teeth Whitening
- Dental Emergencies
General Dentistry With a Purpose
The services we provide are designed to diagnose, treat, and prevent issues with your teeth, gums, and entire mouth. Seeing your dentist as often as necessary can make a difference when it comes to health reasons and your own personal goals. The purpose of general dentistry is to ensure your teeth and gums are healthy and you feel comfortable and confident.