General dentistry is the branch of dentistry that deals with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of various oral diseases and conditions. It covers a wide range of services that aim to improve and maintain your oral health and function. Whether you need a routine check-up, a filling, a root canal, or a tooth replacement, general dentistry can help you achieve a healthy and beautiful smile.

In this article, we will explain the benefits of regular dental visits and preventive care, describe some of the common dental procedures performed by general dentists, and answer some of the frequently asked questions about general dentistry. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of what general dentistry can do for you and why you should visit Vedder Dental Clinic for your general dentistry needs.

Common Dental Procedures

General dentists are trained and qualified to perform a variety of dental procedures that can restore, repair, or replace your teeth. Some of the most common dental procedures are:

Teeth cleaning and polishing

This is a basic but essential procedure that removes plaque, tartar, and stains from your teeth and gums. It also helps prevent cavities, gum disease, and bad breath. Your dentist or dental hygienist will use special instruments and products to clean and polish your teeth. You should have your teeth cleaned and polished at least twice a year or as recommended by your dentist.

Dental fillings and crowns

These are restorative procedures that repair damaged or decayed teeth. A filling is a material that fills a cavity or a hole in your tooth. A crown is a cap that covers the entire visible part of your tooth. Both fillings and crowns can restore the shape, function, and appearance of your teeth. Your dentist will numb the area, remove the decayed or damaged part of your tooth, and place the filling or crown. You may feel some sensitivity or discomfort after the procedure, but it should subside in a few days.

Root canal treatment

This is a procedure that saves a tooth that is infected or inflamed inside. The pulp is the soft tissue inside your tooth that contains nerves and blood vessels. When the pulp is damaged by decay, injury, or disease, it can cause severe pain and swelling. A root canal treatment involves removing the pulp, cleaning and disinfecting the root canal, and filling and sealing the space.

Your dentist will numb the area, drill a small hole in your tooth, and use special instruments to remove the pulp. You may need a crown to protect and strengthen your tooth after the root canal treatment. You may experience some soreness or tenderness after the procedure, but it should improve in a few days.

Tooth extraction

This is a procedure that removes a tooth that is severely damaged, decayed, or impacted. An impacted tooth is a tooth that does not erupt properly and causes problems for the surrounding teeth and gums. A tooth extraction may be necessary if your tooth cannot be saved by other means, or if it poses a risk of infection or damage to other teeth. \

Your dentist will numb the area, loosen and pull out your tooth, and apply pressure and gauze to stop the bleeding. You may need stitches to close the wound. You may feel some pain and swelling after the procedure, but it should subside in a few days. You should follow your dentist’s instructions on how to care for your extraction site and avoid smoking, drinking alcohol, or eating hard or sticky foods.

Dental implants

These are artificial tooth roots that are surgically placed into your jawbone to support replacement teeth. Dental implants can replace one or more missing teeth and provide a stable and natural-looking solution. Dental implants require several steps and visits to complete. First, your dentist will evaluate your oral health and bone density and plan your treatment. Next, your dentist will insert the implant into your jawbone and cover it with a healing cap.

You will need to wait for several months for the implant to fuse with your bone. Then, your dentist will attach an abutment, which is a connector that holds the replacement tooth, and take impressions of your mouth. Finally, your dentist will place the crown, which is the artificial tooth that matches your natural teeth, onto the abutment. You may feel some discomfort or bruising after each step, but it should subside in a few days. You should take good care of your implants and visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and adjustments.

Preventive Dental Care

Preventive dental care is the best way to avoid dental problems and keep your teeth and gums healthy for life. Preventive dental care involves regular dental visits and good oral hygiene habits at home. Some of the preventive dental care services offered by general dentists are:

Dental exams and x-rays

These are diagnostic procedures that help your dentist detect and monitor any signs of oral diseases or abnormalities. A dental exam involves a visual inspection of your teeth, gums, tongue, and other oral tissues. Your dentist may also use a probe, a mirror, or a light to check for cavities, gum disease, or oral cancer. A dental x-ray is an image that shows the inside of your teeth and bones. It can reveal hidden problems, such as decay, infection, or damage. You should have a dental exam and x-ray at least once a year or as recommended by your dentist.

Dental sealants and fluoride treatment

These are preventive procedures that help protect your teeth from decay. A dental sealant is a thin coating that is applied to the chewing surfaces of your back teeth. It fills the grooves and pits that are hard to clean and prevents bacteria and food from getting stuck. A fluoride treatment is a gel, foam, or varnish that is applied to your teeth. It strengthens the enamel and makes it more resistant to acid and decay. Your dentist may recommend dental sealants and fluoride treatment for children or adults who are prone to cavities. You may need to repeat these procedures every few years or as recommended by your dentist.

Oral cancer screening

This is a screening procedure that helps your dentist identify any signs of oral cancer, which is a type of cancer that affects the mouth, throat, or lips. Oral cancer can be caused by tobacco use, alcohol use, sun exposure, human papillomavirus (HPV), or other factors. Oral cancer can be treated successfully if detected early. An oral cancer screening involves a visual and tactile examination of your mouth and neck. Your dentist may also use a special light or dye to highlight any abnormal areas. You should have an oral cancer screening at least once a year or as recommended by your dentist.

Gum disease treatment

This is a treatment procedure that helps your dentist manage and control gum disease, which is an infection and inflammation of the gums and the supporting structures of the teeth. Gum disease can be caused by plaque, tartar, bacteria, or other factors. Gum disease can lead to tooth loss, bone loss, or other serious complications. Gum disease treatment involves scaling and root planing, which are deep cleaning procedures that remove plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line. Your dentist may also prescribe antibiotics, antiseptics, or surgery to treat gum disease. You should visit your dentist as soon as you notice any signs of gum disease, such as redness, swelling, bleeding, or bad breath.

FAQs About General Dentistry

Here are some of the frequently asked questions about general dentistry and their answers:

How often should I visit the dentist?

You should visit the dentist at least twice a year or as recommended by your dentist. Regular dental visits can help prevent, detect, and treat any oral health problems and keep your smile healthy and beautiful.

How do I find a good general dentist?

You can find a good general dentist by asking for referrals from your family, friends, or co-workers. You can also search online for Google Reviews or use the Find a Dentist tool on the Canadian Dental Association website. See our reviews here.

Is teeth whitening a general dentistry service?

Teeth whitening falls under the umbrella of cosmetic dentistry rather than general dentistry. While general dentistry focuses on health and function, cosmetic procedures enhance the aesthetics of your smile. If you’re considering a brighter, whiter grin, your dentist can guide you to the right path.

What can I expect during a routine dental check-up?

A routine dental check-up is your oral health checkpoint. Expect a thorough examination of your teeth, gums, and overall oral health. X-rays may be taken, and your dentist will discuss any potential issues or recommendations for improvement. It’s a collaborative effort between you and your dental team to keep your smile in top-notch condition.