Downtown Dental Excellence offers General Dentistry in Cleveland, TX

When people think of a “dentist,” they more often than not think of a general dentist. This is because they are the oral healthcare professionals that people see most often. Actually, many people see their general dentist more than any other healthcare provider!

In order to ensure proper oral care, scheduling regular visits with your general dentist is a must. To understand why seeing an oral healthcare provider is so important, it is necessary to understand what a general dentist is, what services they provide and how often you should see them to maintain healthy teeth, gums and cheeks—as well as a healthy tongue and jawbone.

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What is General Dentistry?

A general dentist is the oral healthcare provider that you see regularly for diagnostic and preventative services. You may have a general dentist that provides dental care for your spouse and you, or you may go to a family dentist that provides general oral care services for everyone in your family.

While specialized oral healthcare providers such as orthodontists and prosthodontists have certain dental services that they specialize in (such as restoration of damaged teeth, or providing braces for corrective reasons), a general dentist may only be qualified for to perform basic dentistry. This does not mean that a general dentist does not have the qualifications to provide specialized services in certain fields of dentistry, but they are not required to in order to provide general dentistry services.

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What Services do General Dentists Provide?

In order to understand more about what a general dentist is, it’s important to understand what services they provide. Here are a few of the different services that a general dentist provides to their patients:

Cleanings and Checkups

In order to keep your teeth, gums, cheeks and tongue healthy, it’s important to set regular appointments with your oral healthcare provider for checkups and cleanings. During these appointments, your dentist will inspect your mouth for any disease or signs of tooth decay, while also checking x-rays for anything that they otherwise may have missed. They will also clean your teeth—removing any plaque, calculus and debris. From there, your teeth will be polished.

If your dentist notices anything wrong during the checkup/cleaning, they will discuss different options with you for treatment. They may be able to provide some of these treatments themselves, while other treatments they may need to refer you to a specialist for.

If you have any questions about your oral health, or about how to properly care for your teeth and gums, make sure to bring them up during your regular cleaning. Your dentist can walk you through how to properly brush, floss and rinse. This will help you to avoid cavities, and fight off gingivitis.

Restorative Dentistry

Even with good at-home care, you may still end up with damage, decay and infection. When this is the case, certain restorative services will be necessary to ensure your oral health. These services may include:

  • Fillings
  • Deep Cleanings
  • Root Canal Therapy
  • Dental Crowns
  • Extractions

Your oral healthcare provider will also be able to walk you through how you can take proper care of your oral health, in order to avoid these procedures in the future.

Cosmetic Dentistry

While some dental procedures are necessary for your health, others are cosmetic. These dental procedures can help to complete your smile, and boost your self-esteem. Some of these procedures include:

  • Dental Bonding
  • Teeth Whitening
  • Veneers

These procedures can give the you a boost in confidence, and can restore your teeth so they look fantastic and healthy.

How Often Should I See a Dentist?

You should have an appointment set for a checkup and cleaning every six months. If you haven’t seen your dentist in a while, now is as good of a time as any to call them and get an appointment in the books.

If you have any issues between appointments, you’ll want to set up a more immediate appointment. If you are experiencing a dental emergency, you may need to call a dental office that provides emergency services. These offices will often allow a patient to see a dentist within 24 hours.

If you continue to see an oral healthcare provider every six months, you’ll dramatically lower your chances of needing to set additional appointments, and you will help to ensure the health of your teeth, gums, jawbone, tongue and cheeks.

What Qualifications Should I Look For?

There are plenty of great dentists out there to choose from, but it is important to make sure that the oral healthcare provider you choose is properly qualified. The most important thing to check is their legal qualifications, and if they have fulfilled the requirements of the state licensing board. You’ll also want to make sure that they got their degree from a reputable school.

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Choosing the Right Dentist for You or Your Family

In order to not only ensure your oral care, but your overall comfort and happiness, you’ll want to make sure that you choose the right dentist for your family and you. While you may find a list of dentists in your area that are well-qualified, some of them may not have great reputations when it comes to customer service, friendliness or billing. Some dentists may also be a little out of your price range, or may not take your insurance.

If you are looking for a dentist for your children, you may want to consider a family dentist. They are able to handle the general dentistry for each member of your family—no matter what their age is.

Ask your friends and family members for recommendations for an oral healthcare provider, or try searching online and reading reviews from current and previous patients. Now that you have a better understanding of general dentistry, it’s time to set an appointment with your dentist—if you don’t already have one—for your next cleaning and checkup. By maintaining regular appointments, your dentist will be able to catch any oral health issues early, and will be able to provide the cleanings that your teeth need to stay shiny, clean and strong.