Who is the single medical care provider you see more than every other? For quite a few people, the answer is: their general dentist. There’s a good reason for that– it’s because general dentistry is distinctly directed toward the prevention of disease. As a matter of fact, it is approximated that virtually 65 percent of all dental treatments are either diagnostic or preventive. By placing a substantial emphasis on dental wellness and hygiene, general dentists like www.shallowfordfamilydental.com help individuals prevent the progression of oral diseases. If left without treatment, these eventually lead to discomfort, lost time at work or school– and an approximated cost of billions of dollars each year.
General dentists are the primary providers of dental care to individuals of all ages. At a routine trip to your household dental office, you will probably have an extensive assessment of your mouth (including teeth, gums, and other structures), a skilled cleaning, and a review regarding your dental (and overall) health. If your assessment reveals the presence of tooth decay, you will probably also have a filling in the impacted tooth. Yet these types of techniques, although typical, are hardly the only services your general dentist offers.
What Do General Dentists Do?
Of an estimated 143,000 dentists practicing in North America, some 80 percent are general dentists. In contrast to specialists, who are mainly focused on a distinct facet of dental practice, general dentists deliver a wide array of services that are vital to your continued health, including:
Preventive services– These help you retain excellent oral health by eliminating disease before it takes hold in your mouth. Routine exams (including diagnostic images like x-rays) and proficient teeth cleanings are a cornerstone of prevention. Your general dentist may likely give you specific guidelines to bolster your at-home dental hygiene, and may also advise preventive procedures such as sealants, if necessary. And if you live an active lifestyle, you can be outfitted with a customized mouthguard at your dentist’s office.
Corrective Services– When a complication is discovered, your dentist will ensure you get timely and proper treatment. Possibly the most prevalent (and very successful) dental repair involves clearing away tooth decay and setting a filling in the impacted tooth. And yet that’s not the only restorative procedure general dentists furnish. They furnish you a place to visit when you need timely treatment for dental trauma– for instance, a broken, loosened or knocked-out tooth. General dentists can identify and treat the causes of tooth pain or periodontal (gum) disease. They may even offer treatments for missing teeth, place crowns or bridgework, and help you get furnished with dentures. Some provide more advanced treatments, including root canal therapy, orthodontics, and dental implants, as well.
Cosmetic Dental Procedures– Many general dentists can help you get the dazzling smile you’ve truly wanted with a range of cosmetic procedures. These include teeth whitening, cosmetic bonding– even porcelain veneers. If a bolder smile is what you’re searching for, ask your general dentist about a smile revamp.
General Health Issues– In many respects, your oral health can be viewed as a mirror of your overall health. Some dental complications may mirror issues in other parts of your body, and vice versa. For example, untreated oral diseases can lead to worse management of diabetes, an increased incidence of cardiovascular disease, and complications prenatal. General dentists are trained to identify these and other issues, and offer ideal treatment or referral when necessary. One special issue is obstructive sleep apnea, a possibly deadly condition that can sometimes be treated with an oral device. General dentists can also 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 dental school. Additionally, they have fulfilled the requirements (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 only difference between the two is the title used on their dental school’s degrees; their education and training is exactly the same.
In addition to their conventional training, some general dentists receive distinct training in particular 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 have a concern about your oral health. You may have an obvious signal (such as a toothache or bleeding gums) that something in your mouth needs attention. Or, you may have heard of a cosmetic procedure that you ‘d like to find out more about. In either case, don’t hesitate to call the dental office.
In regards to periodic dental appointments, there isn’t a single schedule that fits all patients. Depending on your specific circumstances, your dentist may wish to see you twice a year, every three months, or another period. No matter what it is, don’t let those appointments go! Keeping up with the recommended schedule of preventive treatment and practicing reliable oral hygiene at home are the two best ways to avoid dental disease– and keep your smile looking bright and healthy for the rest of your life.