General Dentistry focuses on the prevention of oral health concerns. This includes tooth decay and gum disease. These issues can cause pain and other problems if left untreated. A general dentist can help prevent them by providing regular dental cleanings, fluoride treatments and other preventive services.
Many of the dental problems that patients encounter can be prevented with good oral hygiene practices, including brushing and flossing. However, sometimes the teeth and gums are so sensitive that even these healthy habits cannot keep them clean and free from plaque. This is when a general dentist can provide services such as in-office tooth whitening, dental veneers and other cosmetic treatments to improve the patient’s smile.
Taking care of the mouth is also important in preventing other health concerns such as heart disease and diabetes. This is because the condition of the gums and teeth can reflect an underlying problem such as a high blood pressure or poor control of diabetes.
The first thing that a general dentist will do is to examine the teeth and gums for any potential oral problems. This exam is often performed with the help of X-rays. The X-rays can help the dentist determine what areas of the mouth need extra attention.
Another area that general dentists focus on is the prevention of dental trauma. This can include broken, loosened or knocked-out teeth that are caused by accidents, sports injuries and other factors.
These kinds of dental injuries can lead to pain and other problems that are harder to treat, especially if the damage is severe enough to erode or fracture the tooth’s outer layers. General dentists can often repair the damaged tooth or replace it with a restoration such as a crown.
Keeping the Mouth Healthy
One of the most common reasons that a patient visits the general dentist is to get preventive care. This is important because the vast majority of dental issues are easier to address when they are discovered in their earliest stages as opposed to later. This is why biannual dental checkups are so important for identifying problems early and developing a plan to solve them.
In addition to preventive dentistry, general dentists are also trained to recognize and help their patients with other types of health issues. For example, the dentist may be able to identify obstructive sleep apnea, which can be deadly if not treated. They can also offer nutritional counseling or advice on quitting smoking and other things that are related to overall health.
Moreover, general dentists can also identify and recommend other dental professionals for the treatment of more specialized needs such as misaligned teeth or missing teeth that need implants or dentures. This is because the issues that these individuals face can have a profound impact on their health, and can also be difficult to treat in isolation.