General Dentistry refers to the specialty dedicated to the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases of the oral cavity and the maxillofacial region. It is in no way a simple field limited to just the teeth, but encompasses a wide range of specialties focusing on all the variations of dental and facial problems.
General dentistry diseases and problems can range from simple decay and cavities to severe malocclusion and mal- alignment of teeth, oral ulcers and tumors, abscess formation, teeth damaged due to trauma or genetic abnormalities and many more. For these dental issues, it is general dentistry specialists that are responsible for proper treatment.
General Dentistry Procedures
There are nine major dental specialties recognized throughout the world. General Dentistry specialists are qualified to perform most all dental procedures. The following are some of the procedures a General dentist is certified to perform:
Dental bonding involves the use of composite resin material to build up and restore teeth. Teeth which have been damaged and chipped due to trauma, those which have gaps and need build ups to close them, those with deep cavities and need esthetic white material to fill them and even teeth which are slightly misshapen can be sculpted, contoured and restored with the help of dental bonding. The results of composite bonding are completely natural looking, esthetically improved teeth since composite resin matches the color and consistency of tooth substance quite well. The right shade can be selected using a shade guide.
Dental bonding is an excellent option if you wish to improve minor imperfections in your teeth, which can make a great difference to your smile and overall self- confidence.
Dental bridges are prosthesis used to replace missing teeth. They involve using the adjacent teeth as anchors, with the help of crowns while the missing tooth or teeth in between are replaced with false teeth. It is like a multiple bridge of false teeth attached to crowns at either end, to aid in its retention. The bridges are made using composite or porcelain crowns and porcelain fused to metal (PFM) crowns, helping to achieve a natural, esthetically pleasing result. The bridge may even get its retention with the help of a dental implant.
Dental bridges can thus, be used to replace one or multiple missing teeth, helping you to restore the esthetics and function of multiple lost teeth, greatly improving your quality of life.
Dentures are prosthetic replacements for missing teeth, which may either be complete or partial dentures, indicated for complete or partial tooth loss replacement respectively.
Dentures are made of acrylic durable material which matches the color of the natural gums, and have acrylic teeth set into them for replacement of the lost teeth. They are supported by the soft tissues and bone of the mouth and by adjacent teeth, if present, with wires. General dentists are trained to take impressions and have dentures fabricated for their patients to compensate for tooth loss, and to restore the function of their teeth.
One of the most important factors in maintaining the health of your teeth and mouth is regular visits to the dentist. Proper dental health is achieved through basic check- ups, monitoring and diagnosis of dental problems. By preventing tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath; the overall health of a person is also improved.
Your dentist plays a huge role in supporting prolonged dental health. The American Dental Association recommends having your dentist check and clean your teeth at least twice each year. With a good oral hygiene routine and regular dental visits, dental health is greatly improved.
A crown is a dental prosthesis that can be placed upon a tooth after it has undergone root canal therapy or has been subject to trauma or extensive breakdown. It resembles a cap that is simply constructed to imitate the structure of a natural tooth and be permanently cemented upon it, to restore its function and give added strength.
Crowns are made of many durable materials but the most commonly used material in modern dentistry is porcelain, as it gives the added benefits of excellent resemblance to tooth structure, durability and longevity. Porcelain crowns are known as PFM crowns, known as Porcelain- Fused- to Metal crowns. These crowns have an inner core or base made of metal which is placed over and bonded to the adequately shaped and prepared tooth. Porcelain is fused onto the outer surface of the metal base, making up the visible and functional portion of the restored tooth.
For those who wish to improve the esthetics of their teeth drastically, porcelain veneers are an excellent option. Porcelain veneers can be used to change the shape, size, length or color of teeth entirely.
Porcelain veneers make use of wafer- thin laminates or shells that are bonded onto the surfaces of teeth. They resemble the natural tooth structure and color extremely well, giving a completely natural appearance. These allow one to camouflage all the imperfections in teeth such as discoloration, chipped teeth, spaces between teeth, crooked and cracked teeth, making them appear perfect, yet natural. The end result of having cosmetic dental treatment with veneers is a completely natural looking set of straight white teeth, achievable in 2- 3 visits to the dentist’s office.
Bleaching and Zoom Teeth Whitening are among the most popular treatments available to dramatically whiten teeth, up to 6 shades lighter. Dark, internally stained, yellow and dull teeth are treated best with these procedures, showing obvious improvement in the teeth’s shade.
Bleaching can be done at home, using low- concentration bleaching gels and stock trays which contain the gel overnight over the teeth. In- office tooth bleaching involves the use of high- concentration bleaching gels on the teeth using custom- made trays for the patient, performed by the dentist personally. Bleaching may take up to a few weeks to show a marked difference.
Zoom teeth whitening makes use of a similar procedure, with the addition of an activation lamp and much shorter treatment time. This light activates the bleaching agent within the gel, whitening the enamel of teeth up to 6 shades. This treatment is one of the most advanced whitening systems available in modern cosmetic dentistry.
General Dentistry Video Education
Practitioners of general dentistry are on the front lines in the battle for oral health. These clinicians should be visited twice a year or more to ensure a healthy mouth. If it has been more than six months since your last check up, contact the general dentistry professionals at Dr. Ueckert’s office to schedule your appointment.