Maintenance of healthy teeth and gums is an important part of oral hygiene. When people have a problem in this area, more than likely they will first visit a general dental practitioner. General dentistry focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases that affect the gums, teeth, and other areas of the mouth. While focused on preventative care, general dentistry also encompasses treatments such as fillings, crowns, bridge work, dentures, root canals, and some cosmetic enhancements.
General dentistry is widely considered the “front line” of dental care, and is a complex field that covers a wide range of procedures. An initial visit to such a dentist might include a consultation and diagnostics, such as x-rays, to determine the problem and correct course of treatment. A general dentist will also provide preventative care such as dental cleaning, teeth whitening and instruction on the correct way to brush and floss the teeth. This preventative care also includes a recommended return visit every six months for a quick examination and teeth cleaning.
Due to its surge in popularity, general dentistry also provides purely cosmetic treatments. Many general dentists have the training to perform cosmetic dentistry, which involves improving the appearance of the teeth and gums. These are considered elective treatments, however, and are usually only performed for reasons of enhancement rather than as a medical requirement for health reasons.
A general dentist is usually the first professional people consult regarding dental issues. Their offices are equipped to handle most common dental problems, but have a focus on preventative care. Common services provided by this kind of professional ranges from routine cleanings to fillings and dentures. Some general dentists may perform a range of cosmetic procedures such as teeth whitening, veneers, and cosmetic bonding, to name a few.