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General Dentistry

 

General dentistry involves the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of conditions, diseases and disorders affecting the teeth, gums, and mouth. General dentists are licensed to practice in all areas of dentistry. They perform routine dental examinations to determine one’s oral health. After that, they create and manage a dental plan for the patient based on their original findings. This includes starting up a record chart and documenting any known conditions, disorders, diseases or related problems. They know how to diagnose conditions, disorders and diseases within the gums, teeth and maxillofacial (jaw and face) region by means of an extensive education and training dental program, and passing of national and state licensure tests.

Dentist Education and Training

Dentists can earn either a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or a DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) after passing the DAT (Dental Admission Test), entering an accredited dental school and meeting all requirements. Depending on the individual university, acceptance into dental school will vary. Most dental schools require a 4-year undergraduate degree or have programs available for 3rd year students to enter. The first two years of dental school consist mainly of basic and preclinical sciences. The last two years are dedicated more towards dental practice under faculty supervision. Licensing is granted to those who fulfill their educational obligations, as well as pass a national and state board examination. If wanted, the licensed dentist can continue their training and education. There are nine recognized dental specialties.

Dental Specialties

Here is a brief description of the nine recognized dental specialties accredited by the American Dental Association (ADA):

  1. Dental Public Health – These specialists focus on the prevention and control of dental disease, as well as the promotion of dental health among the community.
  2. Endodontics- These specialists focus on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment within the root pulp and periradicular tissues.
  3. Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology – These specialists diagnose tumors, injuries to the head and neck, and other diseases.
  4. Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology- These specialists focus on radiological interpretation of diseases related to the mouth, jaw and face
  5. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery – These specialists perform surgeries on the mouth, jaw and face. They perform tasks such as tooth extraction and reconstructive surgery.
  6. Orthodontics – These specialists diagnose and correct tooth irregularities and facial deformities, generally by means of braces.
  7. Pedodontics- These specialists perform dental treatment on children.
  8. Periodontics- These specialists treat diseases within the gums and related structures.
  9. Prosthodontics- These specialists treat oral dysfunctions through the use of prosthetic devices, including crowns, bridges, and dentures.

Learn more about General Dentistry

Family Dentistry

Family dentistry is oftentimes confused with general dentistry, and for good reasons. For the most part, the two are the same. However, there are subtle differences. Learn more about family dentistry here.

How to Choose a Dentist

This article helps you understand how to choose the right dentist for you. There are many things to consider such as prices, location and comfort.

Top 10 Ways to Reduce Dental Costs

This article gives you ten ideas on how to keep your dental costs down, regardless if you have dental insurance or not.

Wisdom Teeth

Our wisdom teeth can cause many complications for us if they are not removed before a certain age, or before they begin to cause severe damage to adjacent teeth, nerves, bones and roots.

  • Wisdom Teeth Removal

    Our wisdom teeth can cause many complications for us if they are not removed before a certain age, or before they begin to cause severe damage to adjacent teeth, nerves, bones and roots.

Page updated April 2013

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