The practice of general dentistry encompasses an amazing array of services and procedures, all with a common goal: to help you to preserve your natural teeth as long as possible, ensure your oral health, and keep you looking and feeling great throughout life.
Oral health is an essential component of general health. In fact, medical research has revealed links between common oral infections and serious general health conditions including cardiovascular disease. It is therefore of the utmost importance to maintain the health of your teeth, gums, and other oral tissues.
This should start in childhood, so that health-promoting habits can develop early. Even toddlers can benefit from a trip to the dentist's office to be examined for early signs of tooth decay and to become accustomed to the place where many important preventive services will be performed throughout childhood and beyond. Every stage of life carries with it particular oral health concerns, and your dentist is trained to address every one of them.
All practicing dentists complete a four-year dental school program and then take a rigorous exam to become licensed to practice in a particular state. Dentists then periodically take continuing education courses to stay abreast of new research and technology.
General Dentistry Procedures
Modern dentistry offers a wide range of services to make sure your teeth stay healthy, function well and look great. These procedures include:
- Cleanings & Oral Exams, to keep your teeth and gums healthy, and catch early signs of dental disease
- Crowns & Bridgework, to replace large amounts of lost tooth structure and/or missing teeth
- Dental Implants, for the longest-lasting tooth replacement available today
- Extractions, to remove unhealthy teeth that cannot be saved
- Fillings, to restore decayed teeth
- Oral Cancer Screenings, to detect a dangerous disease that can be cured if caught early
- Orthodontic Treatment, to move teeth into the right position
- Porcelain Veneers, for repairing larger chips and cracks, and reshaping teeth
- Removable Dentures, to help you smile again
- Root Canal Treatment, to rescue diseased teeth
- Sealants, to help prevent cavities
- TMD Treatment, for pain in the jaw area that can interfere with biting and chewing
- Tooth Decay Prevention, so you keep your natural teeth as long as possible
When to Visit the Dentist
Many people only go to the dentist when something is wrong. That is truly a shame, because they are missing out on so many preventive services that can save discomfort — and expense — down the road. Regular dental visits are essential to make sure oral health problems — from tooth decay to oral cancer — are detected and treated in a timely manner. Some individuals may need to see the dentist more often than others to stay on top of problems like plaque buildup and gum disease, but everyone should go at least once per year.
Your regular dental visits will include a thorough oral exam to check the health of your teeth and gums; and oral cancer screening to spot any suspicious signs early; and a professional cleaning to remove stubborn deposits and make your teeth look and feel great. So don't miss out on the many benefits dentistry offers you and your family!
Your Smile Makeover
The most important job you have as a member of your own smile makeover team is to communicate exactly what you don't like about your smile and how you'd like it to be different. Before the first consultation, give some thought to the following questions:
- What do you like or dislike about the color, size, shape and spacing of your teeth?
- Are you pleased with how much your teeth show, both when you smile and when your lips are relaxed?
- Do you want teeth that are perfectly aligned and a bright “Hollywood White,” or would you prefer a more natural look with slight color, shape and shade variations?
- Would you like more or less of your gums to show when you smile?
It is extremely helpful for you to bring in pictures you have collected — of smiles you like, smiles you don't like, and/or photos of the way your own smile used to look, if that's the result you're aiming for. Now is the time to get started on creating a smile that will make you feel as good as you look!
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