• Braces and Invisalign
  • Crown and Bridge
  • Dental Implants
  • General Dentistry
  • Root Canal
  • Teeth Whitening
  • Veneers
  • Wisdom Teeth

General Dentistry

Your Guide To General Dentistry

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.


What Is General Dentistry?

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:

  • Regular dental check-ups for scale-and-polish treatments
  • Maintain positive oral hygiene habits to keep teeth away from cavities and bacteria
  • Prevention of tooth decay
  • Maintaining a balanced diet containing calcium-rich foods to keep teeth strong and healthy
  • Avoid foods in your diet that do more damage to teeth leading to further expensive treatment
  • Daily brushing and flossing of teeth twice a day

What Does General Dentistry Do?

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.

The Common General Dentistry Treatments

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.

Check-up and Clean

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.

Oral Cancer Screenings

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.

Kids Dentistry

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.

Dental Emergency

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.

Dental Fillings

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 Tooth Extraction

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.


Why Should I Regularly Visit The General Dentist?

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:

  • Early Detection of Oral Problems – Detection of any oral issues is the biggest advantage of regular dental check-ups. The general dentist will look for:
    •  – Gum disease
    •  – Cavities
    •  – Plaque and tartar accumulation
    •  – Oral cancer
    •  – Tooth decay
    •  – Detection of Malocclusion
  • Improves Confidence In Your Smile – It has been said that smiling leads to positive wellbeing. Smiling also creates a good impression when interacting in public. What’s more, you feel better about yourself. Your smile is one of the first things people will notice and creates a long-lasting positive impression.
  • Role Model To Your Family – When visiting the dentist for dental check-ups, your children will also follow suit and understand the importance of visiting the dentist. Even at home, stick to a positive oral routine so children understand looking after teeth is part of general healthcare.
  • Avoid Tooth Loss – When teeth become decayed or damaged, there are chances of bacteria forming on teeth leading to infection. When this happens, bone can degenerate leading to teeth falling out.
  • Long-Term Affordability – Regular dental check-ups save you money. In time, without regular checks, you will need to for out for more expensive treatment when your oral problems get worse.

How Can I Maintain Good Oral Hygiene?

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.

  • Regularly brush and floss twice a day with a soft bristle brush. Consider brushing teeth after a heavy meal as well. This keeps debris away from teeth and limits the chance of bacteria.
  • Book regular dental check-ups every six months.
  • Avoid snacking at regular intervals and stick to eating as part of a healthy meal.
  • Introduce calcium-rich foods into your diet.
  • Rinse your mouth regularly after eating.
  • Wear a mouthguard during physical and sporting activities

General Dentistry vs Cosmetic Dentistry

You’re probably thinking where cosmetic dentistry treatments fall into this. Cosmetic dentistry is a new phenomenon within dentistry that involves changing and restoring your smile. Also given the term “smile makeover”, cosmetic treatments improve your aesthetic appearance through a variety of restorative procedures. Cosmetic dentists work with you as the patient to develop treatment plans to outline cosmetic treatments and costings.

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.


Preventative vs Restorative - The Differences

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 Treatment Costs and Cost Factors

General dentistry treatments vary in cost depending on your oral health needs. Below is an average cost breakdown of all general dentistry treatments.

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.