General dentists are the primary oral health care providers. They perform routine oral procedures focused mainly on preventative maintenance. General dentists take x-rays as part of the initial diagnostics on their patients. With a strong emphasis on the importance of observing healthy oral practices, general dentists help the communities around them avoid the progression of oral diseases. Unlike dental specialists who focus on a specific dental practice aspect, general dentists offer the following services.
Dental restorative care
Once a problem is identified, the general dentist ensures an appropriate and timely treatment. Often fillings or removal of a decaying or broken tooth is thought to be the only restorative care available. This is not the case as it also involves prompt dental trauma treatment as well as periodontal services. Missing teeth can be replaced, dentures fitted and bridges fabricated.
General dentists help and educate the public on oral health issues before they occur. They carry out regular examinations and teeth cleanings. They also advise on how you, the patient, can improve your oral hygiene and recommend preventive treatment such as fluorides and sealants if they see a need. General dentistry can provide cosmetic procedures such as teeth whitening and bonding.
When to see a general dentist
Often, people visit the dentist when they are experiencing oral health issues, which is wrong. It is recommended that you see a dentist every six months as most oral health problems can be detected early enough, saving you money and discomfort in the future. However, this does not mean you should not see a general dentist in between the six months whenever a concern about your oral health arises. The state of your oral health in some cases reflects your general health status. Some dental problems can indicate that there may be issues with other parts of your body. General dentists are trained to identify such and prescribe appropriate treatments or referrals to specialists if need be.