What Is The Difference Between General And Cosmetic Dentistry?

General dentistry focuses on preventing and treating dental problems and diseases.

You go to a general dentist for the following services:

– Dental prophylaxis or cleaning

– Treatment of dental caries

– Root canals

– Dental fillings

– Other preventive or rehabilitative treatments intended to relieve pain caused by problems in your teeth

Cosmetic dentistry falls under the category of specialty dentistry. A cosmetic dentist is a general dentist who obtained further training to acquire the knowledge, and develop the skills needed to perform dental procedures and treatments related to improving the appearance of teeth, or what is referred to as a patient’s smile.

You go to a cosmetic dentist if you want to address problems like discolored or stained teeth or cracked, chipped, crooked or missing teeth.

The treatments that you get from a cosmetic dentist are not really critical to how your teeth function. Even without undergoing these treatments, you can still chew and eat efficiently.

The services that a cosmetic dentist offers have to do with improving your smile. They seek to improve your looks, your self-image and self-confidence, by making your teeth look better. The treatments promote better-looking teeth, a brighter smile, and a more pleasant appearance.

A general dentist focuses on treatments that restore your teeth, so that they function well. A cosmetic dentist, on the other hand, offers dental services that intend to improve the esthetics of your smile.

Many individuals report a dramatic improvement in their self-esteem and confidence when they go to a cosmetic dentist to have their crooked or broken teeth repaired. They see the expense as an essential investment for better career and social opportunities, not to mention a healthy self-image.

You go to a cosmetic dentist for the following services:

1. Replacement of missing teeth

A cosmetic dentist addresses unattractive gaps or missing teeth and restores your smile by doing dentures, dental crowns, dental implants and bridgework that look and feel like natural teeth.

2. Professional teeth whitening

This is one of the most popular dental services performed by a cosmetic dentist. It is a safe and effective method to have a brighter smile that is free from unsightly teeth discoloration and stains.

3. Teeth reshaping

Do you feel that your teeth are misshapen, worn down, crooked, or too pointy? A cosmetic dentist may reshape your teeth to make them look more attractive. Porcelain veneers are popular with many dental patients.

4. Restoration of damaged teeth

You may have discolored teeth or cracked and chipped teeth, a sign of the wear and tear that your teeth go through in the course of many years. A cosmetic dentist can restore damaged teeth by using procedures like porcelain veneers or bonding to hide the damage, and restore the appearance of healthy teeth. If the damage is more severe, your cosmetic dentist may recommend a dental crown to improve structure and support and enhance appearance.

5. Straightening misaligned or crooked teeth

A cosmetic dentist may recommend braces or porcelain veneers to straighten your teeth, and make them look more beautiful.

What Is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is an inflammation in the gingiva or the gums that surround the teeth. It is the most common type of periodontal disease that affects a lot of people today. In its chronic state, gingivitis may cause your gums to recede and ultimately, it may lead to periodontitis.

Gingival inflammation is categorized according to the level of severity. It may be anywhere from a mild to severe case of gingivitis to a more common but severe case of necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis.

Inflammation is an important component of gingivitis. It happens when the body’s natural bacteria-fighting cells are led to a bacteria-infested area of the gums, and this is responsible for most of the gingivitis symptoms. Thus, it can be said that bacteria can cause gum inflammation.

While bacteria are naturally found in the human body, and usually offer protective benefits, they can also be detrimental. The mouth of a person provides the ideal environment for bacteria to thrive. It has everything the microorganism needs to survive – moist, warm environment, and constant supply of food. Without a healthy immune system, the growth of bacteria would be difficult to control. It will ultimately overwhelm the body’s natural defenses.

Once this happens, an infection will begin. Gingivitis is a type of gum infection that develops after bacteria have successfully invaded the bone and soft tissues surrounding the teeth. As previously mentioned, the severity of the infection may range from mild to severe. It may likewise indicate the onset of a more serious systemic disease.

Causes and Risk Factors of Gingivitis

Gingivitis is definitely a gum infection caused by bacteria. However, the exact reason for the development of gingivitis is still under thorough study, although several theories have been offered.

In order to develop, gingivitis requires the accumulation of plaque in the areas around the teeth. The bacteria contained in large numbers in the plaque are believed to cause gingivitis. However, plaque alone cannot be singled out as the culprit for gingivitis since most people have plaque deposits on their teeth, but not all of them have gingivitis.

In some cases, a person may be afflicted with an underlying condition or illness that makes the immune system prone to gingivitis. Diabetics and people with immune system disorders like HIV are less capable of protecting the gums from bacterial invasion. Smokers and substance abusers are likewise susceptible to developing gingivitis.

Hormonal changes that happen during a woman’s pregnancy also make the gums easy targets for bacterial infection. Steroid therapy and puberty also have the same effect. Ill-fitting dentures, dental work that results in altered tooth anatomy, and other local factors are also believed to be contributory factors.

Gingival enlargement can also be caused by medications for hypertension, seizures, and organ transplants.

What Is Root Planing?

If you have receding gums, a sign of gum disease, the most common way to treat it is to undergo root planing.

This treatment procedure is also sometimes called root scaling. It is a process wherein the tooth, which accumulated tartar and plaque, is scraped off the surface.

As gum disease progresses, the gums will recede, and they will be replaced by mineral deposits (tartar). The affected teeth will further develop cavities or holes, and will cause inflammation or infection. Before this occurs, a root planing procedure is best done to prevent further damage.

How the Treatment is Done

Dentists will use a scraping or an ultrasonic tool to help remove the tartar buildup around the teeth and gums. This procedure may be a little painful, so your dentist may apply an anesthetic around the gums.

After the procedure, your gums and lips may feel numb for a few hours as the anesthetic wears off.

Root planing and scaling procedures tend to cause bleeding along the gum line since the previously impacted plaque and tartar are all removed. You dentist will also give you antibiotics prior to and after the procedure to minimize the risk of infection, and hasten the healing processed.

Things to Do After a Root Planing Procedure

Root scaling and planing can work wonders towards effectively treating gum disease before it worsens. After undergoing the procedure, make sure to strictly adhere to best dental health practices, so that the disease will not come back. Here are the things you should continually do after a root scaling and planing procedure:

1. Floss and brush your teeth regularly.

Plaque and tartar buildup will continue if you do not follow correct oral health practices. Make sure to brush and floss your teeth after every meal to prevent recurrence.

2. Stop smoking.

Tobacco use is associated with an increased likelihood of developing gum disease. If you still continue to smoke after a root planing procedure, your gum’s chances for healing is greatly decreased; hence, your overall gum health will continually be compromised if you continue your smoking habits.

3. Continue taking antibiotics as prescribed by your dentist.

Typical antibiotic use lasts between 7 to 14 days or 1 to 2 weeks. If your dentist prescribes you with an antibiotic medication after a root planing or scaling procedure, you should take the medication for the entire duration prescribed. In this case, antibiotics are used as prophylactic medication in case infection sets in after your procedure. Taking the prescribed antibiotics for the entire prescribed duration will help ensure that you do not develop an infection.

Now that you are aware of what root planing is, it would be best to visit your dentist to have your dental problems corrected.

What Is Family Dentistry?

What does a family dentist do?

A family dentist takes care of the dental health and oral hygiene of his patients. There are dentists who limit their practice to patients belonging to a certain age group. A pedodontist, for example, provides oral care and treatment only to young children. A family dentist provides dental services for a broad range of patients, from kids to patients over 60. He provides the services necessary to reduce plaque buildup, fill cavities, prevent tooth decay, and keep gums healthy.

Family dentistry is considered to be primarily a preventive field. It offers the first line of defense against dental problems.

A family dentist has extensive training in general dentistry. He has to pass the National Board Dental Examinations before he is conferred as Doctor of Dental Medicine or Doctor of Dental Surgery. After receiving his general dentistry education, a dentist may decide to specialize in a particular field by getting postgraduate training. He may also immediately begin his practice as a family or general dentist.

How often should you visit your family dentist?

You should make it a point to visit your family dentist at least twice a year. Your dentist can provide thorough dental checkups, provide prophylaxis to reduce plaque buildup, and to avert tooth decay, and suggest fluoride treatments to strengthen the teeth. These visits ensure that oral health issues are detected long before symptoms of more complicated dental problems arise.

A family dentist can also do a radiograph so he can easily detect cavities. If necessary, he can do dental fillings before the cavities grow bigger and more severe, requiring more complicated restorative procedures like dental crowns or implants, root canals, or extractions.

What are the advantages of going to a family dentist?

When you have a family with members of diverse ages, it is easier for the entire family to see the same dentist. This saves you the time, effort, and cost of having to make a lot of individual appointments with different dentists. You can bring your entire family to the same dentist in one visit. It is convenient, practical, and time-efficient.

How do you decide which family dentist to go to?

Find out about the prospective dentist’s professional experience and credentials. Does he offer excellent dental care? Is his office equipped with the latest equipment and technology? Ask for recommendations. Get feedback from other patients. Confirm reviews. There are many reliable ways to find a qualified family dentist whom you can trust.

It is important that you feel at ease with the family dentist you choose. You should be able to talk comfortably with him, raise your concerns, and discuss your dental problems constructively. It is essential to have a pleasant and productive professional relationship with your family dentist.

It is also helpful to find out if a particular family dentist offers in-house financing. Does his office provide flexible payment options? Some dental procedures and treatments are not covered by insurance. It is prudent to find out options that can help you pay for such services.