What is a General Dentist
A general dentist is the person who takes care of your teeth and is your first line of defense against all types of oral health problems. Your general dentist Jacksonville is likely to be the health professional you see the most frequently. This is because the primary function of your general dentist is to prevent disease. General dentists and dental hygienists put an emphasis on dental hygiene and overall oral health. The care you receive at your general dentist Jacksonville helps with guidance of good daily teeth care, detects diseases such as cavities and oral cancer in their early stages and protects you against tooth loss and gum disease.
Why You Need a General Dentistry Professional
Your general dentist provides you with a full spectrum of services that are designed to keep your mouth and your whole body healthy. Preventive services are the biggest part of what your general dentist does for you. The dentist does a complete examination of your mouth during each visit. These exams may reveal the presence of receding gums, tooth decay or suspicious oral lesions. If you are pregnant, regular visits with the general dentist could lessen your risk of pregnancy complications. If you have a health condition such as diabetes, the dentist may track your oral health over time. This is important because many untreated or under-treated chronic health conditions have a negative impact on your oral health. Your oral health also impacts the rest of your body. For example, the bacteria responsible for gum disease may cause inflammation in other parts of your body, such as your blood vessels and heart. The health of your mouth is a reflection of your overall health.
Teeth Cleanings and Dental Hygiene Guidance
When you think of what happens at the dentist’s office, teeth cleaning is probably one of the first activities that comes to mind. During your visit to a general dentist, you will have a teeth cleaning. The dentist or a hygienist may do the cleaning. After the dentist checks your mouth, you might get detailed guidance on how to improve your oral hygiene on a day-to-day basis at home. The dentist can tell if you brush too hard, not enough or if you are missing a spot when you brush. Perhaps you stay up too late finishing things for work or picking up items scattered around the house. You might forget to floss sometimes. The dentist can give you tips on how to maximize your oral hygiene and which products to use at home when caring for your teeth and gums. If you are unsure of which electric toothbrush is the best or what kind of toothpaste to use for sensitive teeth, a general dentist can give you recommendations based on your oral health status.
Recommendations for Preventive Treatments or Products
You can also ask your general dentist for recommendations on preventive treatments or products. Perhaps you had a cavity in a molar, and you want to prevent any additional decay in your teeth. You might ask the dentist if sealants or fluoride treatments would be helpful to your situation. If you have an active lifestyle and play sports such as softball or weekend races, you might ask the dentist to make you a customized mouth guard to protect your teeth during your sports activities. A general dentist may also refer you for specialty services if you need care that is out of the scope of general dentistry. For example, if you need a retainer to stop your teeth from shifting, your general dentist might refer you to an orthodontist.
About once each year, your general dentist will take X-rays of your teeth. The X-rays give the dentist a good view of your jaw bone health and the roots of your teeth. If you still have your wisdom teeth, the X-rays also show their location and whether or not they have moved over time. X-rays are an important diagnostic tool for the detection of tooth decay and gum disease. Bite-wing X-rays are the most common type of image. You may also have a panoramic X-ray taken. This type of X-ray provides the dentist with a 360 degree view of your upper and lower jaws.
Sometimes, a teeth cleaning, X-ray or oral exam reveals an area of tooth decay. Your dentist performs fillings to restore the tooth’s strength and structure. A filling is usually made of composite materials mixed by your dentist. The composite material is made for you and colored to match the rest of your tooth. Your dentist may also take impressions of your mouth if you need a crown or bridge. A crown or bridge is constructed in a dental lab using the impressions taken by your dentist. Your dentist fits the crown or bridge onto your tooth.
As you get older, your teeth get yellower. Part of this process is a natural part of aging as a little enamel wears off and exposes the yellower dentin underneath. If you enjoy a morning cup of coffee or tea, those beverages may leave some yellow or brown stains on your teeth. Drinking cola or wine or eating dark foods such as beets or tomatoes can also stain your teeth. Professional teeth whitening is a service your general dentist can do for you. The teeth whitening is done with custom trays and a prescription-grade bleaching solution. The process takes about one hour, and your teeth can be lightened by about six shades. Professional teeth lightening is safe and effective at brightening your smile.
Other Routine General Dentistry Services
Your general dentist also offers care and treatment for the early stages of gum disease. If you have mild gum disease, your dentist could do a deep cleaning. This removes bacteria at and underneath your gum line. If you chipped a tooth, the dentist could apply some bonding material to correct the shape of the damaged tooth. General dentists also offer cosmetic dentistry services such as porcelain veneers. You may also get counseling for better nutrition or smoking cessation during your visits to the general dentist. If you grind your teeth at night, the dentist could take impressions for a bite guard to lessen the damage caused by grinding.
Benefits of Finding a General Dentist in Jacksonville
Having a dedicated professional to help you maintain optimal oral health sets you up for better overall health and well-being. When you visit the same general dentist every six months, your oral health can be monitored. If any changes are found, you and the dentist can work together to correct the problem. Seeing a general dentist and getting preventive oral health care services reduces your risk of developing serious health conditions such as sleep apnea and heart disease. If you have a risk of oral cancer, routine visits to a general dentist is a good way to detect lesions at an early stage of development.
You should visit your Jacksonville general dentist every six months. If a tooth, your gums or anything else in your mouth starts to trouble you, make an appointment to have it checked. Keeping up with regular visits to your general dentist and caring for your teeth at home give you the best chances at maintaining a beautiful smile and good oral health.