What Does It Take To Become A Dentist?

Who is the single healthcare provider you see greater than any other? For quite a few people, the answer is: their general dentist. There’s a very good justification for that– it’s because general dentistry is distinctly oriented toward the prevention of any issues. In fact, it is estimated that virtually 65 percent of all dental treatments are either diagnostic or preventive. By placing a powerful focus on dental health and hygiene, general dentists like Shallowford Family Dental Group help people prevent the progression of oral conditions. If left without treatment, these eventually result in distress, lost time at work or school– and an approximated cost of billions of dollars each year.

General dentists are the main providers of oral treatment to individuals of any age. At a standard trip to your family dentist, you will probably have a comprehensive examination of your mouth (including teeth, gums, and other structures), an expert cleaning, and a review regarding your dental (and overall) health and wellness. If your exam reveals the presence of cavities, you will probably also have a filling in the disturbed tooth. Yet these types of procedures, while typical, are hardly the only services your general dentist provides.
What Do General Dentists Do?

Of an estimated 143,000 dentists working in North America, some 80 percent are general dentists. As opposed to specialists, who are mostly focused on a distinct facet of dental practice, general dentists provide a wide multitude of services that are vital to your ongoing health, including:

Preventative services– These help you preserve great oral health by preventing disease before it takes hold in your mouth. Periodic exams (incorporating diagnostic images including x-rays) and proficient teeth cleanings are a key element of protection. Your general dentist might give you specific instructions to improve your at-home oral hygiene, and may also suggest precautionary treatments such as sealants, if needed. And if you live an active lifestyle, you can be furnished with a tailor-made mouthguard at your dentist’s office.
Corrective Services– When a concern is identified, your dentist is going to ensure you get prompt and appropriate treatment. Possibly the most typical (and very effective) dental restoration entails removing dental cavities and setting a filling in the disturbed tooth. And yet that’s not the only remedial procedure general dentists provide. They provide you a place to visit when you need immediate treatment for dental damage– such as, a broken, loosened or knocked-out tooth. General dentists are able to determine and treat the sources of tooth pain or periodontal (gum) disease. They may even offer solutions for missing teeth, place crowns or bridgework, and help you get furnished with dentures. A few offer more advanced treatments, such as root canal therapy, orthodontics, and dental implants, as well.
Cosmetic Dental Procedures– Many general dentists can really help you get the dazzling smile you’ve often wanted with a variety of cosmetic procedures. These include teeth whitening, cosmetic bonding– even porcelain veneers. If a more vibrant smile is what you’re searching for, ask your general dentist about a smile makeover.
Overall Health Problems– In many respects, your oral health can be viewed as a mirror of your general health. Some dental problems may mirror issues in other locations your body, and vice versa. For instance, neglected oral diseases can result in worse control of diabetes, an increased occurrence of cardiovascular disease, and complications prenatal. General dentists are taught to identify these and other troubles, and offer ideal treatment or referral when needed. One special concern is obstructive sleep apnea, a potentially deadly condition that can in some cases be treated with an oral device. General dentists can also offer nutritional counseling, advice on tobacco cessation and general health and wellness information.

What Qualifications Do General Dentists Have?

After completing their undergraduate education, all general dentists have successfully completed four years at an accredited dental school. Additionally, they have fulfilled the requirements (including testing and continuing education) of state licensing boards. Some dentists have the initials DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) following their names, while others have DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery). The only difference between the two is the title used on their dental school’s degrees; their education and training is exactly the same.

Alongside their standard training, some general dentists receive distinct training in particular areas– for example, implant placement, cosmetic procedures, or other therapies.
When Should I See The Dentist?

The short answer is: each six months for preventative services– and otherwise, whenever you have a concern about your oral health. You may have a clear signal (such as a toothache or bleeding gums) that something in your mouth needs attention. Or, you may have heard of a cosmetic procedure that you ‘d like to find out more about. In either case, don’t hesitate to call the dental office.

In terms of regular dental appointments, there isn’t a single schedule that fits all patients. Depending on your individual circumstances, your dentist may want to see you twice a year, every three months, or another time period. Whichever it is, never let those appointments go! Staying on top of the recommended schedule of preventive treatment and practicing effective oral hygiene at home are the two best ways to prevent dental disease– and keep your smile looking bright and healthy for the rest of your life.