What does general dentistry include?
General dentistry covers a wide range of procedures. This includes the initial consultation and diagnostics such as x-rays, CAT scans and wax moulds for replacement teeth. He or she will use a variety of methods such as tests, x-rays and the like to determine what is wrong with your teeth before treatment.
In terms of treatments, you will find that your general dentist will offer some or all of the following:
• Fillings: teeth can be filled with a variety of materials which include gold, amalgam, mercury, porcelain and composite resin.
• Crowns: these are artificial teeth or ‘caps’ which can be fitted over broken or damaged teeth. These will maintain their structure and protect them from further damage.
• Bridge: this is a structure which contains an artificial tooth or ‘pontic’ which is anchored to a couple of crowns. These crowns fit over the natural teeth on either side of a gap which help to secure the false tooth in place and so ensure a natural looking appearance.
• Root canal treatment: this procedure is carried when the tissue or ‘pulp’ within a tooth becomes infected. This procedure can be performed by a general or specialist dentist.
• Dentures: these are basically a set of false teeth. If you have quite a few teeth missing, as a result of an accident or disease then dentures can help. They are removable false teeth which look and behave in much the same way as natural teeth.
• Dental cleaning: this can take the form of a ‘scale & polish’ or advice on brushing and flossing.
• Bonding: this is the name given to the procedure in which a type of resin is used as a ‘glue’ to stick a material, such as a veneer to a tooth. Often used to treat stained or damaged teeth.
• Oral (mouth) and Maxillofacial treatments: this is the technical term used to describe procedures for the mouth, face and jaw. Includes dental implants and treatment for temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ).
These are the most common services offered by a general dentist. However, you may find that your general dentist carries out a range of cosmetic dental procedures such as teeth whitening, veneers, lumineers and cosmetic bonding.