General Dentistry

General dentistry or general dentist.

General dentistry or general dentist – is a licensed dentist that has not done specialized dental programs following dental school.  One thing to keep in mind – is that general dentists can provide all dental procedures that they have training for and feel comfortable doing.  That is, a general dentist can do root canals, can extract wisdom teeth and provide orthodontic treatment for their patients.  Now, some of these treatments – the general dentist may want to refer to an orthodontist for orthodontic treatment for their patient or may refer out to an oral surgeon an impacted wisdom tooth extraction.

General dentistry or a general dentist can help with the care of your mouth and teeth. Dentistry is the branch of medicine that pertains to the mouth, teeth, gums, and jaw. Not only to help in fixing teeth, but also in diagnosing cancer in the mouth, gum problems and more. A licensed general dentist can help with many dental care issues, depending on their skill set. Dentists are usually either a DDS or DMD, depending on the dental university they attended.  Both DDS and DMD can be licensed dentists.

General dentists can place dental implants, extract teeth, do cosmetic dentistry and do root canals. A general dentist is one who has completed their dental general dental training – though has generally not received any specialized post-graduate education.

General dentists chat online at Just Dental.  Licensed general dentists can provide dental treatment to patients and can also help guide policymakers or relevant bodies to govern the regulations related to the dental field.

A general dentist may in severe or complicated dental cases – refer out to a dental specialist. This can be referring to an oral surgeon, periodontist, pediatric dentist, endodontist, prosthodontist or one of the other dental specialties. One local general dentistry question that gets asked is, can my general dentist extract wisdom teeth, or can only an oral surgeon extract wisdom teeth?  The dental answer is that your dentist can extract any of your teeth, including the wisdom teeth. 

Here are some dental treatment services that your general dentist probably performs:

  • Dental prophy (dental cleaning) is usually done by your dentist or may be done by the dental hygienist in the dental office.
  •  Tooth fillings and composite fillings on teeth that need a filling due to caries/tooth cavity.  Tooth filling procedure is one of the most common dental procedures the general dentist does.  Not all tooth fillings are the same.  Some teeth have a large number of caries and need multiple surface fillings, while others may just be a small surface cavity (occlusal filling).  Many dentists will also be needing to remove old fillings and doing a new filling with composite material.  For instance, some old amalgam fillings can be changed into a composite while colored filling.
  • Dental inlay / onlay restorations are for teeth that have a slightly too big cavity.  These are usually lab fabricated or made using an in-office dental machine.
  • Dental crowns are fairly common procedures done for people that break their teeth or have very large cavities.  Many times after root canal treatment or after a dental implant placement procedure, you will need a dental crown.
  • Root canal treatment on most teeth – though back teeth that have hard accessibility may be referred to an endodontist specialist.   Most front teeth root canals are done by the general dentist.  Many general dentists may want to refer out molar root canals to endodontists because they have multiple roots and many canals that need to be cleaned out & filled.
  • Simple tooth extractions are usually done by the general dentist.  Many general dentists also extract wisdom teeth as well.  Though, more complicated fully impacted wisdom teeth (third molars) is usually sent out to an oral surgeon.  Oral surgeons have a dental office with more medical equipment, that is ready-made for oral surgery and complex facial accidents. Oral surgeons do extra medical training in complicated oral surgical procedures.
  • Teeth whitening is a fairly common dental procedure or dental treatment provided by many general dentists in their dental practice.
  • Partial dentures and full dentures for usually elderly patients.  Some general dentists have more elderly clients and have dental practices geared towards dentures and crowns.
  • Dental veneers and cosmetic dentistry treatment for their patients.  Many general dentists can provide cosmetic dental care restorations such as dental veneers.  Each general dentist is different.  
  •  Dental Implant placement is being done more and more by general dentists.  These general dentists can take extra dental courses or dental training to place dental implants.  Some of the dental implants that may need periodontal treatment as well, may get referred to a periodontist.