What Is General Dentistry?
Technically, general dentistry is a term that describes any dentistry not performed by a specialist. However, when we refer to general dentistry, we mean procedures that aren’t cosmetic dentistry or neuromuscular dentistry. This usually means procedures focused on preserving or restoring the health and function of your teeth and gums.
Therefore, we usually divide general dentistry into preventive and restorative dentistry.
Preventive dentistry protects your teeth and gums from damage. There are many types of preventive dentistry procedures, but the most common are oral hygiene-related. Cleaning your teeth removes plaque, which contains harmful bacteria, food particles, and protective goo the bacteria secrete to cling to your teeth and avoid saliva (which is harmful to them). You should brush your teeth twice a day and floss every day to keep this plaque from building up.
However, even if you do your best to brush and floss, there is likely some plaque that remains. This plaque absorbs minerals from your saliva and turns rock-hard. It’s a process similar to fossilization, and it turns plaque into tartar. You can’t remove tartar safely on your own, which is what professional cleanings are for.
Preventive visits also include checkups. This allows us to search for oral health problems that are developing, like the beginnings of gum disease or cavities. Sometimes when we see these, we can help you avoid them just by changing your hygiene routine and/or diet. Other times, things like the first signs of oral cancer might need additional treatment.
Restorative dentistry repairs damage done to your teeth and gums by oral bacteria and other causes.
For your teeth, there are three main sources of damage that require restorative dentistry. First, your teeth might be damaged by acid from oral bacteria and/or foods and drinks you consume. Second, your teeth might be damaged by gradual wear from biting and chewing. Third, your teeth might be damaged by trauma.
For minor cavities caused by oral bacteria, we use dental fillings. Small fillings are composite plastic, but larger fillings might be made of advanced ceramic, which is both attractive and strong, even stronger than your natural teeth. More serious damage might be treated with dental crowns. Even when badly damaged, teeth can be preserved with crowns, though in some cases they may also require root canal therapy.
Restorative dentistry can also help your gums. If your gums are badly infected, we will recommend gum disease treatment. Deep cleanings removes bacteria from your tooth roots. It also makes your tooth better suited to adhere to your gums. If your gums have receded and won’t grow back, we can restore them with the Pinhole Surgical Technique.
We also offer comprehensive reconstructive dentistry, which can help when your entire mouth of teeth is damaged and needs repair.
Keep Your Teeth for Life in Rochester, MI
Although risk factors vary, most people can keep their teeth for life with a smart combination of preventive and restorative dentistry. General dentistry is a great investment in your oral and overall health.
To learn more about the general dentistry procedures we offer, please call (248) 656-2020 today for an appointment at Rochester Advanced Dentistry.