What Services Do General Dentists Provide?

General dentistry covers many of the procedures and treatments that you may need over the course of your life. A general dentist is the type of dental health care provider that you will most likely see for most of your dental appointments. Here are some specific things that this type of dentist can do for you.

1. Advise you on proper home dental care.

Your dentist can clean and treat your teeth. However, most of the important oral care you will undertake happens at home. Your dentist can offer you advice on proper home dental care. They can show you how to brush your teeth and how to floss effectively. They can also suggest additional treatments that might benefit you, such as daily fluoride rinses. Learning to take care of your teeth can help you experience fewer cavities and other dental problems in the long run.

2. Clean and polish your teeth.

Most people should schedule dental appointments every six months unless directed to do otherwise. At these biannual dental appointments, your dentist will clean and polish your teeth. They will start by scaling your teeth, a process that allows your dentist to remove hardened tartar from the surface of your tooth enamel. Your dentist will also polish your teeth using a device similar to an electric toothbrush. Finally, your dentist will floss your teeth to remove sticky plaque from between their surfaces. This deep cleaning will allow you to leave your dentist's office with your mouth feeling great.

3. Treat cavities and gum disease. 

Cavities can occur when plaque and bacteria are allowed to rest on teeth for prolonged periods of time. Unfortunately, once tooth enamel is worn away, it cannot be regrown. Fortunately, dentists can treat cavities by removing decayed enamel and dentin and filling the resulting hole using amalgam or composite resin. Dentists can also treat gum disease using procedures such as root planing and dental flap surgery. Treating gum disease in a timely manner will allow you to avoid damage to your jaw bone and teeth.

4. Address minor and major dental emergencies.

Routine dental care can help you avoid many preventable cavities. Unfortunately, you may still experience dental emergencies for reasons outside of your control. General dentists can see patients on short notice to address minor and major dental emergencies. Dentists can treat toothaches, loose teeth, broken teeth, and more. Establishing a doctor-patient relationship with a general dentist can ensure that you will have somewhere to go when you experience a dental emergency.