General dentists provide a wide range of dental procedures to treat oral health problems. Their work primarily involves preventative care and minor restoration treatment, but they may additionally perform cosmetic treatments.
General dentists usually do not receive postgraduate education in dental specializations. However, they often obtain further training after dental school through lectures and workshops provided by continuing education programs.
General Dentistry Restorative Procedures
During a dental examination dentists use various dental tests, instruments, technologies, and their clinical knowledge to diagnose present or potential oral health problems. The primary areas of focus are the oral cavity, head, and neck. General dentists develop an individualized plan to guide prevention or treatment of the presented problems. If the need is for cosmetic dentistry, the general dentist will work closely with the patient to determine esthetic goals.
Dental Fillings: A dental filling is a kind of restorative dentistry treatment that repairs and evens out tooth surfaces. It is helpful when treatment is needed for tooth decay, minor tooth fractures, or tooth surfaces that are damaged. Dental fillings may be made of composite, porcelain, or silver amalgam. After a filling is done, your teeth should better perform its functional roles of biting and chewing.
Inlays and Onlays: Inlays and onlays, also termed indirect fillings, provide dental restorations for teeth. They are preferred treatment for slight to moderate tooth decay and are a more conservative choice than full coverage dental crowns. They offer a well-fitting, stable, and durable solution to tooth decay or similar damage.
Bonding: Bonding refers to the procedure of permanently attaching dental restorations to the teeth using special dental adhesives with a high intensity curing light. There are two kinds of dental bonding that dentists use: direct composite bonding and adhesive bonding. Bonding may be used to repair chips or cracks, fill cavities, seal gaps between teeth, and restore worn teeth.
Orthodontics: Orthodontics addresses malocclusions, or improper bite, and may be classified as a type of restorative as well as cosmetic dentistry. It addresses the use of dental braces and retainers in treating dentofacial structures and correcting the relationships between teeth and facial bone.
Root Canal Therapy: The endodontic procedure, also known as a root canal, treats the pulp of the tooth that has become inflamed or infected. The infection may be caused by deep decay, injury to the tooth, or repeated dental procedures on the tooth. Endodontic treatment removes the damaged pulp and cleans and fills the canals of the tooth. This procedure helps preserve the natural tooth.
* Dental Crowns: A dental crown or “cap” preserves a damaged tooth by encasing it with a custom-designed material. Your dentist may employ the use of a crown to protect and restore a tooth that is decayed or cracked. A dental crown may also replace a pre-existing crown. The material used for a crown may be gold, silver, porcelain, or a combination of porcelain and metal.
Dental Bridges: Dental bridges, also known as fixed partial dentures, are an extension of the dental crown treatment and fill in the gap caused by a missing tooth. The artificial tooth replacements (pontics) are held in place by composite materials that are attached to surrounding teeth.
Dentures: Complete dentures serve to substitute for missing teeth among people with no remaining teeth. Tooth loss may be a consequence of tooth decay, periodontal disease, or traumatic injury. It is essential that missing teeth are replaced, for many reasons that include shifting of remaining teeth and ineffective ability to bite and chew properly. Additionally, tooth loss contributes to a sagging and aging facial appearance.
Dental Implants:Implants are artificial tooth replacements that solve the problem of tooth loss. The treatment can be categorized as a type of both prosthetic and cosmetic dentistry. Given the range of restorative options for the treatment of missing teeth, dental implants are regarded as the most durable and functionally effective. Sometimes implants may be the only reasonable alternative for the restoration of complete functionality of the teeth and supporting structures.
Full Mouth Reconstruction: Full mouth reconstruction may also be known as full mouth restoration or full mouth rehabilitation. These terms describe the work of reconstructing or simultaneously restoring all of the teeth in both the upper and lower jaws. One or more dental specialists, in addition to your general or restorative dentist, may be called on to complete a full mouth reconstruction. A full mouth restoration is an extensive process and usually involves multiple phases and office visits.
Oral and Maxillofacial Procedures
These procedures serve to correct a wide variety of injuries and diseases in the hard and soft tissues of the oral and maxillofacial areas, including the jaws, face, head, and neck. They encompass less invasive treatment of the mouth to major oral surgeries. Some of these include reconstructive surgery, cleft lip and palate procedures, temporomandibular joint procedures, and dental implants.
Gum disease may be treated through a professional cleaning, during which your dentist will remove calculus or tartar deposits. The cleaning may make use of deep scaling and root planing procedures after a local anesthetic is administered. Antibiotics can eliminate bacteria residing in the pocketed areas of the gums. Advanced gum disease treatments include tissue regeneration, periodontal surgery, and laser therapy.
Laser dentistry is a new dental technique that offers an accurate and effective way to execute many dental procedures. It allows dentists to target a highly specific area to be treated without causing damage to surrounding tissues. Dental lasers can be used in a bonding procedure, to perform periodontal surgery, remove tartar, and perform other soft and hard tissue procedures.