General dentistry is a field of medicine that covers a wide range of dental procedures performed on the patients. The procedures involve the diagnosis process, prevention and curative measures applied by the dentists to fix a dental disorder. Dental problems tend to extend impacts on the other parts of the body which is the major reason as to why the field continues to draw immense attention from the health practitioners. General dentists are those who have chosen not to take a given specialty in their study.
What is the aim of general dentistry?
General dentistry is aimed at controlling dental diseases, restoring proper oral functionality and improving the appearance that gives the patient a lasting smile. Treating gum diseases is vital to preventing loss of teeth which in most cases comes unexpected as it’s not painful to determine easily. Conducting regular checks on dental health of the patient helps in maintaining healthy and strong teeth which reduces disease occurrence.
The practice helps in determining the presence of other ailments through the holistic approach and hence referring them to the relevant physicians for treatment. Removal of the tooth decay helps in eliminating oral diseases while restorations improve the chewing function of the teeth.
What are the procedures involved in general dentistry?
General dentists are specially trained to effectively carry out a wide range of dental services that include; cosmetic procedures, gum treatment, bridges and crowns, surgeries, restorations, cleanings, TMD therapies, implants, orthodontics and dentures among other numerous procedures. A general dentist is able to diagnose and perform the most appropriate procedure or set of procedures without outsourcing for services and hence more complete in the field.
How is general dentistry beneficial to the patients?
The dentists in this field help the patients in identifying the specific problem they could be suffering from and hence recommending a suitable treatment for the disorder. This saves the patient considerable cost and time that could have been spent on trying to locate the most suitable specialist for the problem.
Dental check-up for a baby crocodile. London Zoo, 1938.
People that did not spend too much time in a dentist’s office have a general misconception about root canal therapy. Many tend to believe that this type of procedure is the last resort to save some of their teeth but the truth is somewhere in the middle.
Root canal or endodontic therapy is usually performed when there is a problem with the pulp of the tooth. In general these types of problems are associated with the infection and since the pulp itself is found deep into the jaw bone complications can occur. It is highly common to have infections that spread in the root canal while the teeth themselves seem healthy. This is generally caused by injuries deep inside or impurities that might infiltrate trough small fissures.
The immediate consequence is the development of infections in the root canal. These can spread down through the jaw bone and migrate upwards in the cerebral area. It is possible to have the infection spreading in the blood stream which causes severe complications. If left uncontrolled, the tissue surrounding it begins to swell and give a sensation that the skin is extremely stretched due to the pressure within the cavity. In some extreme cases, the inflammation can migrate and affect the entire face of the patient. It is also possible to cause death when the infection becomes uncontrollable due to no treatment with antibiotics.
The root canal treatment itself is relatively simple. It involves the perforation of the tooth with a special tool all the way to the root canal, creating a small drilling trough which the infection can get out and the tissue can be cleaned. The cleaning and decontamination of the hollows is usually followed by an obturation or filling with special types of cement to prevent particles from entering. Additionally the dentist can recommend antibiotics as part of the root canal treatment to eliminate the infection more efficiently.
Nobody would have imagined 10 years ago just how big the entire cosmetic dentistry business would grow. The average cosmetic dentist gets more patients than regular ones. More and more people spend money on appearance of their teeth which stimulated growth and innovation, with new technologies being developed on a regular basis for this growing market.
Some of the reasons why this is happening is the increased competition between dental offices which caused the prices to drop. Being more accessible, more people started to invest money in the appearance of their smile.
This trend is also fueled by media that emphasizes on visual impact of public figures while the population tends to follow, attempting to replicate some of their means of improving their appearance, including their smile and there are multiple ways to do it. Tooth bleaching is the most common treatment but sometimes it is paired with tooth reshaping. Not everyone is has perfectly aligned teeth and they tend to attempt to correct this problem with the aid of a dentist.
Another means of solving the problem is by using veneers. These ultra-thin porcelain laminates are bond directly to the teeth after they have been reshaped. However, the shape and color of the teeth is only one part of the problem. Gums can also have an undesired visual appearance. Teeth might be unevenly exposed due to gums that failed to cover the tooth properly. This problem can be fixed with a gum lift. This procedure can be more invasive but some would go even trough surgery to improve the visual aspect of their smile.
All these problems and the need to ask the aid of a cosmetic dentist is usually linked to how the individual feels about himself. The psychological impact of having such procedure can be very significant. Most patients experience an improved self-esteem and feel more comfortable in their own skin.
Bonding is among the easiest and least expensive of cosmetic dental procedures.
The composite resin used in bonding can be shaped and polished to match the surrounding teeth.
Most often, bonding is used for cosmetic purposes:
- To improve the appearance of a discolored or chipped tooth
- To close slight spaces between teeth
- To make teeth look longer
- Or to change the shape or color of teeth
Dental veneers also referred to as porcelain veneers are thin custom made shells that are designed to cover the outer surface of discolored teeth in order to conceal discolorations.
Here are some facts to help you understand them better.
What are they made up of? Porcelain veneers are made from high quality resin composite or porcelain material. Research studies shows that the latter are less resistant to stains as compared to porcelain veneers. In addition, resign veneers are usually thinner hence dentists just need to remove a small portion of the enamel to installing it.
What are their roles? As mentioned earlier, one of the major benefits of installing veneers is that they effectively conceal discolorations. Smoking, excessive drinking of coffee and other fluids that contain high fluoride are the main causes of teeth discoloration. Veneers can also be fixed on worn out, chipped, broken, irregularly shaped and misaligned teeth.
How are they placed on tooth? The first step involves selection of veneers that best suits your personal needs and preferences. It is recommendable to furnish your dentist with this information in order to help him or her make the right decision. X-ray may be used to assess your condition. Before installing them, the doctor has to remove a given portion of enamel. This is usually based on the thickness of the veneers. It is also important to point out that the affected teeth have to be thoroughly cleaned, etched and polished in order to strongly attach the veneers on the enamel. Any excess cement has to be scraped off in order to achieve a uniform teeth structure. Finally, a special beam of light is used to activate it in order to harden it and shorten the healing process.
Dental veneers will surely improve your facial appearance and health. Be sure to follow your dentist’s instructions to avoid any inconveniences later.
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Sometimes, a good oral hygiene will not save someone from trouble. Tooth decay can still occur as some individuals seem to have a genetic predisposition for bad teeth. In the past couple of decades, dental treatments improved yet implant dentistry is still used as a last resort. However, the procedures have changed.
The earliest dental implant procedures were found 1931 in Honduras. The Maya civilization used a form of dental implant which was discovered during an excavation activity.
Implant dentistry is something that everyone is afraid of. It basically means that the tooth has reached a state of decay and it cannot be saved but it is not always applicable. If one tooth cannot be saved but the ones around it are still healthy or in a rather decent condition, a crown can be placed that will be connected to the surrounding ones and fill the empty spot. Implants are used in different situations when two or more adjacent teeth cannot be saved and needs to be removed.
From a patient perspective, dental implants seem like a very invasive procedure but it is necessary in order to save the remaining teeth and avoid developing severe root canal infections.
In terms of durability implants can last up to 10 years or more. Titanium started to be used to ensure the longevity of the implant. The prostheses on the other hand are made of various materials such as porcelain which can develop cracks and deteriorate over time but the can be removed and replaced without taking out the titanium insert. It is also completely painless to replace. The only pain experienced is after the surgery to insert the implant is performed to insert the titanium screw into the jaw bone. However, modern medicine did develop analgesics and advanced medical care to prevent infections to develop and aid the patient during the recovery period.