Advanced dentistry has introduced many different dentistry concepts and treatments over the years. So much that it is easy to become confused on what some dentistry treatments mean and entail.
Dentistry is considered preventative, and this has always been the foundation of dentistry. This is to ensure that your oral health is kept as healthy as possible. Oral health maintenance is a vital part of daily life as it can lead to serious dental problems and in turn, lead to further expensive treatment.
As dentistry has expanded, new concepts have been introduced in dentistry. You may have heard of cosmetic dentistry, orthodontistry and restorative dentistry just to name a few. This begs the question, what does general dentistry mean?
When we say preventative, we mean treatments and oral health tips that preserve your oral health and protect teeth from problems to avoid pain and disease. Therefore, preventative dentistry is what falls into the category of general dentistry.
Still not sure? Keep reading. We breakdown all things general dentistry and cover everything you need to know from general dentistry treatments, how they differ from cosmetic dentistry, treatment costings and answering your frequently asked questions.
General Dentistry is the most common form of dentistry. By definition, general dentistry involves a range of preventative dentistry treatments that ensure your teeth and oral health are preserved.
Preventative dentistry isn’t simply performed in the dental chair. It is also performed at home as well. It is the process of practising and caring for your teeth. This includes the following responsibilities:
Touching on what’s already been mentioned, a general dentist is your primary care provider. From diagnosis, treatments and managing oral health needs, general dentistry appeals to those patients that maintain good oral health without complicated dental history.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that those with poor oral health do not fall into this category. Although, having good oral health greatly reduces the risk of a cavity, gingivitis (or periodontal disease), heart disease, oral cancer and other underlying health problems that can occur where appropriate preventative care is not applied to your teeth.
One of the key questions that confuse many people is the differentiation of general dentistry treatments compared to others such as cosmetic and restorative dentistry. As we’ve mentioned, general means preventative.
Therefore, the following preventative treatments fall into general dentistry.
The simple yet most effective form of treatment. A dental check-up is essential to maintaining good oral health. Regular visits to the dentists every 6 months play a vital role in the general dentist catching any oral concerns early and performing a deep clean to keep teeth clean and healthy for a shiny smile.
As part of a dental check-up, the general dentist will perform oral cancer screenings to detect any signs of oral cancer. When identified early, it benefits the patient by capturing the problem early.
Paediatric (or kids) dentistry is the branch of dealing with kids’ teeth from birth through to adolescence. It is very important that kids adopt good oral health habits early to avoid further complications as they grow.
An oral health emergency can stem from anything at any time. It only takes a physical accident for a dental emergency to occur. The general dentist is best placed to identify any oral health problems with the aim to avoid undertaking any emergency treatments.
When cavities form, teeth can become decayed. The general dentist will fill the area of the tooth. Fillings repair cracked or broken teeth that may have been worn down due to misuse and poor oral health habits.
Wisdom teeth don’t always necessarily mean they need removal. This depends on the growth of it and whether it has erupted enough within the jaw. As the third-molar, where the space is too tight for it to erupt or it disturbs neighbouring teeth, it will need to be removed.
There are two parts to a regular dental visit. First, performing an oral examination so the general dentist can determine the state of your teeth and oral health. The second is performing the scale and polish to keep your oral health in positive check.
Simply put, the general dentist keeps your teeth and gums healthy. Let’s breakdown to you the benefits of visiting the general dentist so you get a better idea of how your oral health is managed:
Looking after your oral health isn’t just reduced to visiting the dentist for a check-up. It is also important that you adopt positive oral health habits at home to keep teeth healthy and strong for longer.
Follow some of these helpful tips to maintain positive oral hygiene habits at home.
The dentist will review all aspects of your smile before determining the best course of cosmetic treatment.
For example, the shade of your teeth is a key aspect to decide the best smile makeover plan that best suits your smile.
Teeth whitening is a cosmetic treatment that can improve your shade.
Where teeth are incorrectly aligned or there are missing gaps, dental veneers help to protect your smile by fitting thin porcelain shells onto the front surface to transform your smile.
Invisalign is also an effective cosmetic treatment to align and straighten teeth in place.
What if you’re missing teeth? Dental implants, dentures and bridges are effective in replacing missing teeth to save your smile. Implants are a natural replacement to a missing tooth, where an artificial tooth is applied as a crown on top of a fitted screw infused in the jawbone.
Cosmetic dentistry is beneficial to reduce the effect on smile and gums during ageing. The cosmetic dentist will ensure your smile improves your overall appearance.
Below summarizes the difference between general dentistry and cosmetic dentistry:
|General Dentistry||Cosmetic Dentistry|
|Prevents oral health problems||Restores an aesthetic appearance|
|Scale and polish to remove plaque build-up||Lightens the shade of your smile|
|Reduces risk of underlying health problems||Hides misalignment, gaps and cracks in teeth|
|Focuses on strengthening teeth and gums||Focuses on dental aesthetics improvement|
General dentistry treatments vary in cost depending on your oral health needs. Below is an average cost breakdown of all general dentistry treatments.
|TREATMENT TYPE||PROCEDURE||OVERALL COST|
|Check-up and clean||Examination and scale & polish||$100-$200|
|Kids Dentistry||Examination and check-up||$100-$200|
|Dental Emergency||Extractions Root Canal||$250-$500 $1000-$2000|
|Dental Fillings||Simple Small Filling Large Complex Filling||$200 $320|
|Wisdom Tooth Extraction||Basic Extractions Surgical Extractions||$150-$200 per tooth $300-$400 per tooth|
For more information on general dentistry treatments and helpful tips, visit our blog page.