What Are The Benefits Of General Dentistry?

General dentistry includes all types of oral care. It begins with dental examination which then leads to dental cleanings and any other treatment that may be necessary to keep up with your oral health. So it follows that general dentistry means preventive care. As we all know, prevention is better than cure. Several benefits of dentistry are apparent.

But what does general dentistry involve? General dentistry is a comprehensive term that includes all kinds of basic oral care. Dental exams including x-rays, dental cleaning, fillings and tooth decay prevention, root canals, crowns and bridges, tooth extractions, implants and bonding are all part of dentistry. As we mentioned, general starts with a dental exam. Usually the first thing that the dentist orders after the examination is dental cleanings. Cleaning the teeth of plaque and tartar ensures that your teeth and gums remain healthy.

General dentistry allows your doctor to identify any oral health issues that may cause problems in the future. Treatment, if necessary can be started early so that the problem doesn’t get out of hand. This is the most important benefit of dentistry.

Dentists recommend an oral exam every six months to catch problems early. During a dental examination, your doctor will look for signs of tooth decay and other gum related issues that may pose a threat. Cleaning of teeth is also recommended every six months. This too is like an exam where the doctor checks your teeth and clears the plaque build up which, if left unattended can be a source of swelling of the gums and discomfort.

During the oral examination, x-rays may reveal the onset of tooth decay. To save the tooth from further damage, the doctor may recommend fillings and sealants. This is a benefit of dentistry that comes from preventive care. The tooth is saved and the patient is saved from the trauma of a tooth extraction that might have become necessary in the future.

Apart from maintaining your oral health, Professional General Dentistry offers other indirect benefits as well. Regular oral check-ups ensure that your dental expenses are under control. By taking care of potential problems early, you are saving money on future expensive dental treatments. Also, you retain your original set of teeth with a simple flossing and brushing routine for a longer time.

Dental clean ups leave your teeth looking clean and bright, another cosmetic benefit of general. A good set of teeth leads to a brilliant smile which in turn boosts your confidence. And, of course, you have no fear of major oral disease like oral cancer or gum disease because the symptoms are caught on early and treated effectively.

Beeswax, Blacksmiths, and Baby Teeth: A History of General Dentistry

As children, most of us are taught that we should treat our teeth like our best friends. Regularly brushing and flossing ensure that your teeth remain clean and healthy. From the fluoridation of drinking water to advancements in toothbrushes and toothpaste, modern dentistry is a far cry from the oral care of our ancestors. Here is a brief look back at the history of general dentistry.

Ancient Teeth

Instances of oral care are about as old as humanity itself. One of the earliest recorded examples comes from a tooth found in Italy, which had been cleaned with flint and was more than 13,000 years old. The teeth of Egyptian mummies often feature fancy dental work, including early forms of fillings using resin, as well as gold thread used to bind loose teeth in place. However, the distinction of the earliest known dental filling goes to a tooth found in Slovenia filled with beeswax, which was over 6,000 years old.

Colonial Conundrums

Remember the story of George Washington’s wooden teeth that you heard as a child? Well, while George never actually owned a pair of wooden teeth, he did have a number of dentures made from hippo and human teeth-which was surprisingly common in his day. Many poor early Americans would sell their own teeth to a craftsman for the construction of dentures for more the more affluent. The scariest part? In an age before antiseptic, anesthesia, or medical review boards, many American dentists were just moonlighting blacksmiths or barbers called upon to perform general dentistry chores.

The Tooth Fairy Has Deep Pockets

Many children today receive a cash reward from the Tooth Fairy when they lose their baby teeth, but did you know that the history of the Tooth Fairy could be traced back to ancient Norse tradition? During the Medieval Period, Norse oral legends, recorded in written form for the first time, mentioned a tradition in which children received money for their first lost tooth. Today, according to a 2013 poll conducted by Visa, American children earn, on average, $3.70 for each lost tooth!

Mouth Full of Metal

The Bond henchman, Jaws, famously had a mouth full of steel that could bend and crush objects at will. One beer brewer in Argentina, noting the correlation between poor decision-making and beer consumption, created an implantable dental bottle-opener to be housed where a tooth once stood. A few rugby players have had them installed, but astonishingly, these bottle openers haven’t caught on with the general public

Modern Care

Fortunately, modern oral care has come a long way since the days when proto-dental hygienists were filling cavities with beeswax, or barbers were giving you a shave and a molar extraction. Since the 1800s, general dentistry has fortunately evolved from a trade to a profession, meaning that professionals now focus exclusively on their craft. Modern dental work can now be performed with little to no discomfort, and is viewed by many as a requirement instead of the annoyance that it once was.

Why The Cosmetic Dentist Needs A Good Understanding Of General Dentistry

Many of us are conditioned to believe that all the actors in the ‘beauty industry’ are people are modest education. Their work is, after all, just to make people look good and feel good about themselves – and that doesn’t require much education; or does it?

It therefore usually comes as a great surprise to the uninitiated to learn that for one to become a cosmetic dentist, they need strong grounding in general dentistry. Yet the attachment of the term ‘cosmetic’ to the professionals’ name will have created the impression, in the minds of the people who hold this persuasion, that the said dentists must be people of modest education/training.

Now in order to understand why the dentist needs a good knowledge of general dentistry, it is important to take into consideration the types of things that the said dentists do on a day to day basis. That is where we see the cosmetic dentist, among other things, having to apply high-powered dental bleaches (in a situation where the low-powered dental bleaches, which are also typically less effective, are applied by the patients themselves on a DIY basis). To do this, the dentist needs very specialized training, especially keeping in mind that laser technology is used in some of these applications.

On a day to day basis, the dentist will also find herself having to install dental veneers on people’s teeth. That would have been an easy task, were it not for the fact that the said veneers can usually not just be plastered atop a person’s teeth: a foundation has to be engraved, so that when they are eventually fitted, they look ‘natural.’ And engraving such a foundation on a person’s teeth can surely not be done by just any ‘beautician.’ It is one of the most challenging tasks in dentistry: hence the need for the cosmetic dentist to be very highly trained.

We also see the typical dentist, on a day to day basis, having to do a lot of teeth realignments. The cosmetic dentist may also be called upon to do some teeth replacement jobs (as lost teeth usually have considerable impact on the looks of the person who happens to be bereft of them). All those are things that require a lot of training in general dentistry.

In fact, it can be asserted that the dentist needs knowledge in virtually every area of dentistry. He needs some understanding of orthodontics, to deal with the teeth alignment issues explained. He needs some understanding of prosthdontics, to deal with the teeth replacement issues explained. He needs a good understanding of other branches of dentistry, to identify other cropping dental problems, and deal with those, before embarking on the cosmetic treatments (which is what professionalism in this field demands).

In the final analysis, it is easy to say that cosmetic dentistry, which seems simple to most people (perhaps on account of semantics alone), is in fact one of the most challenging areas in dentistry; hence the need for the cosmetic dentist to be well grounded in general dentistry.

The Role of General Dentistry and The Professionals Involved

There is a reason general dentistry is separate from, say, the duties of a physician. The teeth are a very unique part of the body. They are in fact the only exposed bones we have, and that makes their care something that takes a great deal of skill and knowledge. Dentists go to school for a long time to learn that knowledge and develop that skill. Without a dentist’s care, it is all too easy for a set of teeth to fall into disrepair, rot, and cause health problems that can extend throughout the body. Here are some of the duties involved in the field.

Diagnosis
One of the major roles of general dentistry and the professionals in the field is to perform maintenance and diagnosis on their patients. Because regular cleaning benefits the teeth so well and because problems can arise very quickly, the ADA recommends going in for a checkup and cleaning every six months. This gives a dentist the chance to give your teeth a good inspection, making sure that nothing is developing in the way of cavities, incoming wisdom teeth, or other issues that need to be resolved sooner than later.

Procedures
Upon diagnosing a problem, the next duty of someone involved in general dentistry is to address it with a procedure of some kind. For a cavity, that procedure could be anything from a filling to a root canal to extracting the tooth altogether. For a cracked tooth, the procedure could be implementing a crown. For missing teeth, the answer could be dentures or dental implants. The list is endless when it comes to the variety of procedures a dentist working in this field must be ready to tackle, often several times a day.

Administration
For the most part, general dentistry takes place not in a hospital but in a private clinic devoted to the practice. Because this turns many dentists into small businessmen as much as they are health care providers, they must wear an administrative and promotional hat as well as their surgical cap. Though there is always the option of hiring help to handle those tasks, a dentist just starting out may find himself doing much of it himself while waiting to see profit enough to justify hiring a full staff.

Education
Especially when it comes to children, the role of those involved in general dentistry must include education. Patients often have no other outlets from which to learn the proper care of their teeth. Therefore, a dentist must make it his business to teach them when they come in for their appointments.

Career in General Dentistry

The field of general dentistry is one of the fastest growing career fields in today’s economy as people have a lot of needs when it comes to their teeth. However, for those interested in this career option there are some things to keep in mind-one being that there is quite a bit of schooling involved, even if you aren’t going into a specialty field. Anyone setting out to specialize in general dentistry should expect at least eight years of university level education maybe more if an internship is involved. This means four years of undergraduate studies and four years of dentistry school. Once completed though, you will have a doctorate in dental medicine or a doctorate in dental surgery and will be one hundred percent qualified for the job you want to do. In regards to this, what exactly does a general dentist cover you may ask?

General dentistry focuses on the basic care and dental hygiene of a persons’ mouth. This involves both restorative and preventative measures and can include but is not limited to root canals, teeth whitening, crowns, caps, veneers, extraction, and bridge work. Advance training is necessary to qualify for sedation, oral and maxillofacial surgery, as well as implants. These qualifications aren’t mandatory for general dentists, however they can help you build a more well-rounded practice as well as expand your client list-you can offer more to your patients. One of the main focuses of dentistry though is that of oral care and dental hygiene. They are all about preventing the worse. Proper at home care such as regular brushing and flossing is recommended by all dentists. If everyone followed this advice and barring any unforeseen accidents, a person could expect to visit the dentist maybe once or twice a year for a checkup and cleaning.

As said before, general dentistry is an ever growing career field-unfortunately in today’s society people have quite a bit of dental problems, especially in poverty level situations. There are some families and single persons who cannot afford to go to the dentist and with today’s unstable economic margins, they don’t qualify for the insurance needed to cover their medical bills. Because of this they can only rely on the dental care they give themselves and sometimes that is simply not enough. If the demand for general dentists were met, then perhaps it would be possible to offer such services to everyone at a much lower cost than now. At least then there would be more help to go around. Dentistry is a detailed profession to go into and not everyone is built for such specifications.

However, if you are interested in pursuing such a career path, then by all means seek more information on the subject matter. It is always best to learn as much as you can about a subject before making a decision on whether or not to dedicate so much of your time and monies to the project. If in the end you do decide to pursue dentistry it will however, be time and money well spent.