General Dentistry, also known as primary care or family dentistry, is the preventative and initial practice of dental health. A general dentist diagnoses and maintains the oral health of patients in order to avoid more serious issues down the road. A daily routine includes performing cleanings, x-rays, fillings, root canals, gum care, veneers,bridges, etc. Furthermore, annual insurance funded checkups are also performed by general dentists. Long term treatments such as teeth whitening or fluoride treatments are also provided upon request.
What is Preventative Care?
Care received or given in order to avoid long term disease or illness by performing regular maintenance or taking care of the minor issue before they worsen. Preventative Care is fully covered by insurance providers.
Why is it also known as family and primary care?
General dentists are responsible for the treatment of insurance provided dental care usually resulting in the care for entire families. It is also known as primary care because a general dentist would be the first person one would see with an oral issue. The general dentist would then diagnose and treat or diagnose and refer to a specialist, thus the word primary.
Dental Cleanings are recommended 2x a year (once every 6 months). This treatments is most often times completed almost entirely by a dental hygienist.
- Physical Exam- check up of the teeth and gums for any signs of gingivitis (inflamed gums), mouth sores and check up of tongue
- Removing Plaque & Tartar- using a scaler, hygienist removes plaque & tartar build up between the teeth & gums. (Regular brushing and flossing helps reduce this type of build up.)
- Gritty Toothpaste Cleaning- once the teeth are tartar free, a high powered electric brush is used to clean the enamel of each tooth. This gives the patient a deep clean and removes any left of tartar. This is a good technique to be at most 2x a year to avoid wearing down the enamel.
- Expert Flossing- cleaning between the teeth to check is the gums are bleeding and if there are any previously undetected infections
- Rinsing- Rinse out any debris left in the mouth
- Apply Fluoride Treatment- protects teeth to help fight against cavities
Routine x-rays are performed annually. They allow the dentist to see any underlying issues of the teeth in hard to reach areas.
Fillings,also known as dental restoration, are a procedure for the repair of a tooth’s structure to close off hole through which bacteria could enter and cause painful decay.
Root Canal treatment is also known as endodontic therapy. The procedure treats the infected pulp of a tooth in order to get rid of the infection and to protect the tooth from possible microbial invasion.
Veneers are tooth covers made of very thin composite and porcelain to protect the tooth from damage and to give a better aesthetic look.
Bridges are the replacement of missing teeth with artificial copies and aligning them with present natural teeth for a clean discreet look.