Every dentist has to complete a bachelor’s degree before going to dental school. Once they have completed their degree in dental school, they have to pass a licensing exam to become a general dentist. Roughly 90% of the licensing exam passers remain general dentists to handle a wide variety of dental problems such as basic gum disease and tooth decay concerns. To know more about what a general dentist is, keep reading!
Most general dentists know a great deal about your oral hygiene routine, diet, and habit just by checking your dental condition. They can tell if you regularly brush your teeth or just for a couple of days before your scheduled appointment. General dentists know whether you clench or grind your teeth or what type of food you mostly eat.
With this in mind, you’ll realize that lying to your dentist will get you nowhere. Hence, it is best to simply be honest about your dental habits. General dentists simply want to help you keep, maintain, and achieve good dental hygiene in the best and effective way possible.
Although general dentists are oftentimes associated with handling restorative treatments such as root canals and dental filling, most of their day-to-day work involves preventive oral care. Through this, they can educate patients on the proper home dental routine, avoid getting their teeth injured, and managing bacteria accumulation in hard-to-reach areas. Preventive dental care includes fluoride treatments, dental sealants, consultations, and dental cleanings.
Aside from preventive and restorative dental treatments, general dentists can also perform basic restorative treatments. Notwithstanding the goal of a general dentist is to maintain every patient’s dental health with preventive and restorative treatments. They have sufficient training and skills to improve your smile. Examples of cosmetic dental procedures they can perform are teeth whitening, teeth bleaching, laminates, and veneers. On the other hand, the restorative treatments they can perform include dentures, dental implants, bridges, and crowns.
General dentists are equipped with knowledge of all the basic treatments performed by dental specialists. It is only when things get more complicated that they refer a patient to a specialist. Although general dentists are not as experienced as dental specialists, they still offer basic treatments that can prevent further damage to a patient’s dental health. Likewise, going to general dentists first allows you to save on dental expenses and the hassle of looking for a good specialist.
General dentists are tasked to examine X-rays of the jaw, gums, teeth, and nearby areas to diagnose dental concerns. Likewise, they are licensed to prescribe antibiotics and other medications that will help alleviate the pain after the treatment. While there are dental anesthesiologists, general dentists can also administer anesthetics to prevent dental anxiety. However, the most common duty of general dentists is to remove or repair damaged teeth and remove tooth decay.
As you can see, general dentists can offer a lot of treatments. Nonetheless, if you’re unsure whether to consult a general dentist or a dental specialist, it’s best to get in touch with our friendly staff at Lifeway Dental.