While a visit to the dentist may not sound as appealing as, say, a beach vacation in the Florida Keys, it’s critical for your health. Regular dental visits keep your teeth and gums in good shape and alert you to any issues that need fixing before they become more problematic. Cynthia J. Mikula, DDS, provides general dentistry services that keep your mouth happy. Learn more about what general dentistry is and why it’s so important.
What Is General Dentistry?
So what is general dentistry? It encompasses several areas, including cleaning your teeth, diagnosing problems like cavities, and identifying when you need to see a specialist for advanced treatment. General dentists can perform many procedures, including fillings, root canals, crowns, and extractions.
Usually, a general dentist is the first person to recognize issues that can harm your future oral health, especially if you stay on top of your regular visits. They’ll note when a cavity is growing or your teeth are shifting. Since they usually X-ray your mouth at least once yearly, they can compare changes and take action on them quickly.
Family dentistry providers can treat people of all ages, from infants to seniors. They’re well-versed in common dental issues, and you can feel confident knowing they have the experience necessary to care for your teeth. If you require special consideration, they’ll refer you to a trusted partner, like an orthodontist or an endodontist.
Types of Dental Services Provided by a General Dentist
Most people schedule their family dentistry appointments every six months. A visit usually starts with a consultation, where the patient identifies any recent issues, like sensitivity to hot or cold foods or pain in a particular tooth. After the consultation, the dentist will examine their teeth and gums.
Some general dentistry appointments will include X-rays or other diagnostic tests. Diagnostic tests can help identify any issues that aren’t immediately visible to the dentist’s eyes.
Next, the dentist will start the cleaning process. Cleaning involves removing any built-up plaque and deposits. They’ll use a water jet to eliminate built-up debris, then floss between all the teeth. Afterward, they’ll apply fluoride, which helps prevent cavities.
If the dentist finds any problems that need to be addressed, they’ll schedule a future appointment to take care of them. Types of dental services a general dentist can provide include any of the following:
Cavities are common, especially among children and teenagers still learning the basics of regular brushing and flossing. Some people are prone to cavities, especially if they have teeth that overlap one another or are difficult to floss between. Genetics can also play a role in cavity development.
A general dentist is trained to spot cavities and remove them before they become deep enough to require a root canal or tooth removal. Regular dental checkups help you catch cavities early before they cause extensive decay that can spread to other teeth or gums.
Sometimes, dentists will suggest tooth extraction to correct dental issues. Tooth extraction may be necessary if decay is prevalent and can’t be fixed via a root canal or filling. Tooth extraction can also help alleviate any crowding in teeth that can make it difficult to brush or floss.
Children and teenagers often require tooth extraction, especially when teeth are crowded and there’s a risk of decay. Tooth extraction can also set the stage for future orthodontic treatment.
However, tooth extraction may be necessary for older adults, too. A general dentist will assess the need for extractions and develop an appropriate care plan.
Sometimes, accidents or general wear and tear can call for tooth restoration. For instance, a tooth may become loose over time, or a patient may chip their tooth on hard food.
Loosened teeth can be problematic since they may eventually fall out. A general dentist can assess the extent of the problem and decide whether a crown could fix it or an implant may be necessary.
Chipped teeth can also cause issues, especially if they impact a patient’s smile or cut into the tooth’s enamel. Depending on the severity of the chip, a general dentist may recommend a crown or other covering to protect the remainder of the tooth and realign the patient’s smile.
Once decay reaches deep into the root of a tooth, there’s a risk of future infection of the gums. The tooth may also loosen, or the patient may experience pain whenever they eat or drink. A root canal can resolve the issue, allowing the dentist to remove the inflamed pulp within the tooth and seal it with a protective coating.
Root canals can help save your natural teeth, eliminating the need for an implant, which can be much more costly and may require future replacement. Following a root canal, your general dentist will place a tightly-fitting crown over the natural tooth, helping stabilize it and prevent it from future breakage.
A general dentist may decide a crown is necessary to protect your teeth, especially if they’re worn, weak, or broken. Crowns cover your natural tooth, similar to a cap. They’ll guard against any additional breakage, allowing you full use of your teeth without worry.
General Dentistry Services Keep Your Mouth Healthy
Regular dental visits ensure your teeth remain in good condition and help spot any issues before they become more significant problems. A general dentist can also address any immediate issues you have, like a chipped or broken tooth. See Cynthia J. Mikula, DDS, in Bay Village, OH, for a full suite of dental services to care for your oral health. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!