Before diving into general dentistry services, you need to know two important things: there are simple dental procedures that may not require specialisation, and there are complex dental procedures that may require a dentist to have experience gathered from a specialised dental course and training.
General dentistry mostly comprises of simple procedures like evaluating and diagnosing dental problems. General dentists can also treat those dental problems that are within their professional experience. If a particular dental condition requires the services of a unique professional, you will be referred to that specialist. This does not mean that general dentistry is not a specialisation; general dentists also need to undertake a course to learn various general dentistry services and undergo training.
A dental specialist can either have specialisation in treating missing teeth (this dental professional is referred to as a prosthodontist), gum disease requiring surgery (this dental professional is referred to as a periodontist), misaligned and crooked teeth (this dental professional is referred to as an orthodontist) and impacted teeth treatment and removal (this can either be done by an orthodontist, prosthodontist or periodontist).
Examples of General Dentistry Services
Most general dentists are in a position to offer the services mentioned below. You should, however, note that you can come across a general dentist, who may also be either a qualified orthodontist, prosthodontist or periodontist.
- Dental Examination
Most, if not all, general dentists are qualified to examine your teeth and gums to help get a diagnosis; this can include visual examinations and dental X-rays.
- Dental Cleanings
Dental cleaning may be recommended if your teeth are slightly stained or have a build-up of tartar and plaque. Most general dentists are qualified to offer dental cleaning services.
- Tooth Fillings and Extraction
If your tooth starts to decay because of poor dental hygiene, you might realise that a hole can start developing. You need this hole filled early before it reaches the pulp cavity. The process of filling such a hole is referred to as filling. Again, most general dentists are qualified to offer this service.
If the hole reaches the pulp cavity, you might need a general dentist with some specialised skills to perform a root canal. Dentists who specialise in root canals are referred to as endodontists.
If you delay getting treatment, your tooth may become too decayed to remedy. The solution is tooth extraction; this can be done by a general dentist.
- Cosmetic Dentistry
Most general dentists offer cosmetic dentistry services. These include services that improve the appearance of your teeth like teeth whitening (the use of bonding and teeth whitening gels).