General, Family & Preventive Dentistry
General dentistry is the branch of medicine involving the care and prevention of oral health conditions, diseases and disorders. A dentist’s job is to use preventative care and patient education to preclude the need for treatments and instead promote a healthy smile for life. Dentists are also responsible for diagnosing conditions that affect the mouth, teeth, gums and jaws, as well as develop the most effective treatment plan with the patient’s best interests in mind.
General dentists attend and complete dental school to achieve a Doctor of Dental Surgery or a Doctor of Dental Medicine. At that time, dentists may take national and state certification exams, which prove a dentist’s proficiency to practice. Upon passing the exams, state licensure is awarded on an individual basis.
General dentists typically do not focus on any particular specialty, instead opting to provide generalized dental care to patients. In some cases, general dentists may refer a patient to a specialty provider for care or treatment that is beyond the scope of general dentistry. However, most general dentists are capable of providing complete examinations, cleanings, root canals, restorations, extractions and tooth prosthetics.
General dentistry is best when patients use it for preventive care, rather than for corrective treatment. By visiting a dentist and his or her team of hygienists and dental technicians twice annually for cleaning and examination, patients can avoid decay and identify potential oral health conditions, such as periodontal disease, in their earliest stages.
What is a Family Dentist?
A family dentist usually accepts any patient regardless of age, from children to the elderly. This makes them more convenient for those who want to employ the same dentist for all members of the family. If you have small children, a family dentist will deliver comprehensive oral care from baby teeth to permanent teeth.
What Does a Family Dentist Do?
A family dentist provides many dental treatments to children and family, ranging from routine dental care – such as cleanings – to x-ray examinations and working to determine if a child’s jaw and teeth are developing properly. For most family dentists, there is a lot of emphasis on preventative dental care. This is because early intervention and proper dental practices can make a child much less likely to develop dental problems – such as cavities or occlusions – as they progress into adolescence and then adulthood.
Family Dentists Comfort Children
You know that some adults have an exaggerated fear of seeing the dentists. Some children experience the same dread. A dental office can be a scary place for a child, with all of the specialized dental equipment and the sounds made by some of the dental machines. However, an experienced dentist knows how to work with a frightened child, comforting them and relaxing them before proceeding with an exam or any treatment processes. A good dentist will set your child at ease, explaining everything that is going on, and never creating an atmosphere of fear.
A positive dental experience – especially for a young child – is likely to result in the child growing into an adult who is comfortable with routine dental care and who regularly get dental checkups. Establishing a good relationship with their own dental needs, at a young age, means your child is going to have less dental problems as they age, avoiding many of the dental pitfalls of their peers.
If an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, the preventive dentistry is one of the most valuable tools available to those who wish to preserve good oral health. At our office, we believe that prevention is the most effective way of protecting our patients’ teeth and gums, from childhood to mature adulthood. We work to provide preventive care to every member of the family, taking cautionary measures to safeguard against oral disease, such as decay and gum disease. By identifying problems in their earliest stages or avoiding these conditions altogether, patients enjoy improved outcomes and lower treatment costs long term.
Preventive Dental Visits
Preventive dental visits are the foundation of a healthy mouth and are necessary for most patients two times per year. During these visits, patients undergo a comprehensive examination and dental cleaning, as well as screenings for common diseases like gum disease and tooth decay. It is often during preventive visits that a dentist may first notice a patient’s bite problems or address an issue with cosmetics. For children, additional preventive services may be necessary, such as fluoride treatments or the application of sealants to help protect newly erupted molars from future decay.
Preventive dentistry is highly affordable and much less expensive than restorative dental care. In fact, the cost of dental reconstruction and restorations can be thousands of dollars, not to mention time lost undergoing extensive treatment.
In addition to providing preventive dental services, our team also emphasizes patient education as a means of prevention. Patients who are well-informed about their oral health may be more likely to use appropriate hygiene procedures at home. We recommend daily flossing, as well as brushing a minimum of twice per day – preferably after meals.
Diet is another important part of dental health, as the foods a person eats contribute to the production of plaque and bacteria that can lead to decay and gum disease. We counsel patients to help them avoid foods high in processed sugars, instead opting for a balanced diet full of whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
Finally, we educate our patients on the importance of preventive measures unique to their specific needs. For example, a child who plays sports may benefit from a custom mouth guard that protects against broken teeth. Similarly, a person with evidence of teeth grinding (bruxism) may need to use a custom night guard.
You Can Benefit from Preventive Care
Everyone, regardless of age or how long it may have been since visiting a dentist, can benefit from preventive oral care. At our office, we welcome people with all types of dental backgrounds with the goal of preserving and protecting the natural teeth with as little intervention as possible. For more information about preventive care and to schedule your next appointment, call us today.
For Your Dental Needs: Call (317) 336-7788
General - Family - Preventive
General dentistry is the branch of medicine involving the care and prevention of oral health conditions, diseases and disorders.
Currently, there are a number of options available for people who have lost their teeth. One of the most versatile is a set of removable dentures.
During the last 20 years, dental implants have become a desirable alternative to other methods of replacing missing teeth.
Although it sounds complicated, a tooth extraction is a routine procedure that according to The Mayo Clinic carries a very low risk of long-term complications.
Root canal treatment is the process of going inside the pulp space and removing the infected, dead tissue.
Dental Sealants are thin layers of resin that are placed on the pits, fissures, and grooves of molars to prevent decay on these surfaces.
Veneers & Laminates
This is one way to quickly get that beautiful smile. Veneers and Laminates are a thin shell of porcelain or resin that is bonded to the surface of the teeth.
Traditional porcelain veneers require the tooth to be “prepped” by shaving away a substantial amount of tooth enamel, and the process cannot be reversed.
Crowns & Bridges
A crown (cap) is a restoration that is placed on teeth that have lost a lot of their structure.
When considering tooth fillings, one of the options available are composite fillings which are made from durable plastics that are similar in color to natural teeth.
Clear Correct is the clear way to straighten teeth without braces. Clear Correct uses a series of clear, removable aligners to gradually straighten teeth, without metal or wires.
Inlays & Onlays
Inlays and Onlays are lab-made restorations that are placed on teeth when the cavity or lost tooth structure is too large to be restored by a simple filling.