The Ins and Outs of General Dentistry

women smiling at dentist

While it encompasses a wide array of services and procedures, general dentistry is an important component in overall health. But what, really, is general dentistry? What does it include, and what can you expect?

The Basics

For many people, the dentist is the health care provider they see most often. Regular dentist visits are often a memorable part of childhood, and that routine usually continues throughout the patient’s life. Dentistry is best defined as the medical science which “involves the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of a wide variety of conditions, disorders, and diseases, affecting the teeth, gums, and maxillofacial (associated with the jaw and face) region of the body.” By extension, general dentistry is the branch of dentistry which relates to the general maintenance of oral health and hygiene and tooth health. Dentists typically take a preventative approach, using regular checkups and cleanings to detect potential problems in oral health and hygiene and address them before they become serious. So how do dentists typically go about this? Whats involved?

General Dentistry Services

For most people, an annual dentist visit is sufficient to maintain dental and oral health—along with a regular program of brushing and flossing, of course! Your dentist will work with you to develop a personalized program intended to maintain dental and oral health. For most people, a regular dentist visit will include the following:

  • A Dental Exam: It is just what it sounds like—your dentist will examine your teeth, gums, and the rest of your oral cavity. They’ll check for cavities, gum disease, wear and tear of the teeth, and other potential problems. They may choose to include dental x-rays (also called radiographs) in order to ensure that no hidden issues exist. They may also want to talk about your diet, your brushing and flossing habits, or anything else that relates to oral health.
  • Teeth Cleaning: Brushing and flossing are the foundation of oral health, but most dentist recommend an annual teeth cleaning to supplement those effort. Generally done as part of a dental exam, a dentist or dental hygienist will clean your teeth carefully using a variety of dental tools, removing plaque and debris both on the teeth and below the gum line. This may involve removing plaque and tartar with a tool called a scalar, a thorough cleaning with a gritty toothpaste to clean the teeth themselves, and then a fluoride treatment. Cleanings are generally discomfort-free for most patients, so there’s likely nothing to worry about there!

These are the services most people need when they visit a general dentistry practice. However, general dentists often perform a variety of other procedures, depending on patient need.
These might include fillings, crowns and bridges, cosmetic procedures like tooth whitenings and veneers, or pediatric dentistry. Each dentist is different, so finding the right fit for your needs is an important part of your dental health plan.

Finding The Right Dentist

So how do you find the right dentist for you? Most folks need a general dentist that can provide the foundational services they need, both for regular checkups and more involved procedures. It helps to have an understanding dentist with a great bedside manner who will foster a good working relationship with you and your family. With that in mind, Plage Dentistry may be the right choice for you. Making an appointment is easy, so get in touch today and let’s take the next step in building a lifetime of oral health.