General dentistry is a broad field, seeing that the kind of dental services offered can be performed by any dentist, specialized or not. Some of the procedures done and services are:
1. Diagnostic and Preventive Dentistry
The objective of preventive dentistry is to stop the advancement of dental problems and to eliminate the chances of them developing altogether. Some of the procedures done include scaling, which is the removal of plaque and tartar using an ultrasonic scaler. Sealants work like fillings but can be placed before the cavities develop. They are used especially on children’s teeth, which are at a greater risk of developing caries.
Preventive dental care starts at home, by regular brushing, at least twice a day, eating healthy foods and flossing properly.
At the dentists’ office, your teeth, gum and tissue swill be examined using special oral cameras and x-rays. This gives the dentists a chance to see and detect any problems with the internal structures of the teeth.
As implied by the name, it is the correction of existing problems
The procedures include root canals and Dental fillings. Fillings, made of gold, silver or porcelain are put in cavities to cover them up and restore the functioning of the tooth. The most common area where caries develop are on molars and premolars. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reported in 2012 that dental caries is the most common health problem among Australians. This data was obtained from the National Survey of Adult Oral Health.
Broken or chipped teeth are sometimes also treated using fillings.
A root canal is done when the pulp is severely infected. The pulp of the tooth is a very sensitive region. It contains living tissues responsible for supplying nutrients to the tooth. When it is infected, the risk of losing the whole tooth increases more than twice. Sometimes the tooth loses sensation when the nerves are infected. The root canal filling is done to save the tooth instead of you losing it. What happens is that the dentist drills into the pulp, with the patient under anesthesia, and removes the infected part. Some nerves are also removed if they are affected.
The part of the pulp that is removed is replaced by a filler substance called gutta percha. It is tough, and cemented into place while in melted form. Many times, after root canal therapy, the cusps of the teeth are covered using a crown to cover it.
Dental implants are also restorative.
Surgery is done when all other means prove ineffective or after initial examination by the general dentist.
As much as more complex procedures in aesthetic dentistry need specialists like prosthodontists, a general dentist can fix veneers. These are colored like the enamel, made mainly out of porcelain and worn over the teeth to cover stains or to hide chipped teeth. Where tooth reduction by sculpting is needed before placing the veneer, you may be referred to a specialist depending on the degree of
Bleaching or whitening, is also a cosmetic procedure that can be done. Chemicals or a combination of these and light are used to lighten the teeth. Afterwards, it can be safely recommended that you do the rest of the whitening at home.