When it comes to choosing a dentist to best meet your needs, you need one with experience providing customers with a wide variety of services. At Affordable Dental Center, Dr. Stegmann and his team have years of experience in cosmetic dentistry, orthodontic services and general dentistry. You may have heard the term “general dentistry” before and wondered what it entails. Here’s a brief rundown of the service area, and what it can mean for you and your family when you decide to visit Affordable Dental for your next exam.
What Is General Dentistry?
General dentistry describes the process that takes place during every standard appointment you’ll have with a dentists, no matter your age. The majority of dental procedures performed in dental offices around the world are either preventative or diagnostic/restorative, which is why the vast majority of practicing dentists are considered general dentists.
General dentistry is split into two categories:
- Restorative services, which are when something is wrong with your oral health. Maybe you have a cavity or an abscess and you need a filling or a root canal. These are restorative services.
- Preventative services, which describe the basic procedures that you undergo at every scheduled dental exam. Cleaning, polishing and a general examination fit under the umbrella of preventative dentistry.
Let’s say that you’re experiencing tooth pain. If you go to your dentist for an assessment and they say you have a cavity or an abscess or that your bite is shifting to the degree that your teeth are contacting each other in a problematic way, these are diagnostic services.
As a response to these issues, your doctor will either carry out a treatment or recommend a lifestyle change to alleviate the issue. For example, cavities are filled and root canals are undergone to correct infections in the tooth pulp, but for people who, for example, grind their teeth or have sensitive enamel, a dentist may recommend a bite guard at night or a different toothpaste. These are restorative dental services.
Preventative services are the procedures that happen at every regularly scheduled dental exam: A hygienist cleans and polishes your teeth and occasionally takes X-rays to monitor the health of your teeth and to make sure there are no problem areas that may become more serious later.
Your dentist will then do an additional, detailed exam to ensure that your teeth and oral health are in good condition, giving you advice about how to maintain proper dental health habits and prevent dental diseases or emergencies.
How Often Should You Visit Your Dentist?
Many people think that only children need to visit the dentist twice a year, but the truth is that everyone can benefit from biannual dental exams. Preventative services are much less costly than having dental problems corrected after they arise, so it’s very likely that regularly scheduling two visits each year will save money in the long run.