A general dentist is your primary care dental provider who diagnoses, treats, and manages your overall oral health care needs, including gum care, root canals, fillings, crowns, veneers, bridges and preventive education.
Preventive services — These help you maintain good oral health by stopping the disease before it takes hold in your mouth. Regular exams (including diagnostic images such as x-rays) and professional teeth cleanings are a cornerstone of prevention.
Restorative Services — When a problem is found, your dentist will ensure you get timely and appropriate treatment. Probably the most common dental restoration involves removing tooth decay and placing a filling in the affected tooth.
General dentists can diagnose and treat the causes of tooth pain or periodontal (gum) disease. They may also offer treatments for missing teeth, place crowns, dentures or bridgework.
Cosmetic Procedures — Many general dentists can help you get the sparkling smile you’ve always wanted with a range of cosmetic procedures.
These include teeth whitening, cosmetic bonding — even porcelain veneers. If a brighter smile is what you’re looking for, ask your general dentist about a smile makeover.
Overall Health Concerns — In many respects, your oral health can be seen as a mirror of your general health. Some dental problems may reflect issues in other parts of your body and vice versa.
For example, untreated oral infections can lead to poorer control of diabetes, an increased incidence of cardiovascular disease, and complications during pregnancy.
General dentists are trained to identify these and other issues and offer appropriate treatment or referral when needed.
One special concern is obstructive sleep apnea, a potentially deadly condition that can sometimes be treated with an oral appliance.
General dentists can also offer help with nutrition and tobacco cessation and general health and wellness information.