General dentists provide a broad scope of care to help patients maintain healthy smiles using the simplest measures possible.
These types of dentists often treat all ages and rely heavily on preventive procedures, such as cleanings and exams.
When should I see a general dentist?
Affordable Care for the Whole Family
Treatment for All Ages
Not every general dentist sees pediatric patients, but many do. This can make it much more convenient to care for both your and your family's smiles.
Simple Treatment Methods
General dentists are trained to spot potential issues in their very earliest stages – when concerns are more easily treated and typically covered by insurance.
Coordinate Specialized Care
Despite your best efforts, you might develop a condition that requires the attention of a specialist. General dentists can provide screening and refer you to the appropriate type of doctor, whether you need a root canal or dental implant surgery.
What Does a Cleaning Involve?
Visits Are Quieter, More Comfortable, and More Informative
Advancements in dentistry have not just made treatment more efficient and effective. Many of these systems address common concerns that often keep patients away from the dentist, such as a fear of pain or confusion over how to best manage their condition. Common tools include:
- Digital X-Rays: These imaging systems produce a fraction of the radiation of traditional x-rays. The results can be viewed right away and are easily uploaded for simpler record-keeping.
- Intraoral Cameras: These small tools allow the dentist to project images on a screen so patients can see exactly where a cavity is located or where they need to floss more thoroughly.
- Digital Impressions: Impressions are required to create customized restorations like dental crowns, but traditional putty is uncomfortable, to say the least. Digital scanning makes modern impressions a breeze.
Some dentists no longer need to rely on noisy drills and use precise, minimally invasive lasers or other alternatives. Furthermore, certain offices use same-day restorations so that you can receive your crown or veneer as soon as possible.
Is the Field Evolving More Specialized Areas?
"Today’s rapidly emerging technologies and science are providing more sophisticated and complex solutions to problems encountered in general dentistry. The advances are changing and enhancing the dental practice environment." American Dental Association
But If I Know What I Need, Can't I Go Right to a Specialist?
General dentists are often referred to as the "quarterbacks" of an entire team of doctors who might care for your oral health throughout a lifetime. Trying to determine on your own exactly who you need to see for a toothache, for example, can not only be costly: it can also have serious and lasting repercussions on your health.
Your general dentist will also get to know your (and your family's) unique health risks over the years, anticipating concerns that might arise. For these reasons, biannual checkups really are the most effective way to keep your smile in top shape.