What Does a Dentist Do?
What does a dentist do? In a general sense, a dentist is someone who looks after your dental health. They examine your teeth and assess their overall health. General dentistry is the most common field of dental practice. But there are some specialty areas as well. Dentists also perform procedures like dental X-rays to reveal any cavities in the teeth. In addition, dental hygienists check for oral cancer.
General dentistry is the most common field of dentistry.
General dentistry is a broad field that includes diagnosing, treating, and preventing oral diseases. General dentists are licensed to provide these services under their education and training while following applicable laws and ethics. During a general dentistry visit, the dentist will perform a full dental examination, perform cleanings, possibly tooth scaling, and perform other diagnostic procedures. The dentist will also perform preventive services like regular dental check-ups and fluoride treatments.
General dentists are unique among all other dental professionals in that they focus on disease prevention. Sixty-five percent of dental procedures are preventative or diagnostic. By providing oral health education, general dentists help people maintain proper oral hygiene and prevent the onset of major dental problems. Untreated oral diseases can cause painful conditions, lost time at work and school, and can cost billions of dollars each year. Fortunately, general dentists are highly skilled practitioners.
A dentist’s decision to take an X-ray is based on the patient’s risk and oral hygiene practices. An x-ray helps detect cavities and other dental problems early, saving you time, money, and pain. X-rays reveal cavities between teeth and gums. To keep your smile healthy, you should regularly visit your dentist Kalamazoo, MI, for cleaning. A routine check-up may not be enough, though.
A cavity appears as a dark spot in a tooth. It starts in the outer layer of the tooth, the enamel, which appears light in color. Eventually, it travels through the enamel to the dentin, which is darker and softer. A dental x-ray can show cavities between teeth, allowing your dentist to fix them before seeing symptoms. A dental x-ray may also detect infections, including root canals, and help determine where new teeth need to be inserted.
While crowns are the mainstay of modern dentistry, dental fillings are an excellent alternative. Inlays are made to look like real teeth and are often bonded into the tooth. Onlays cover the top chewing surface and are typically made of porcelain or composite resin. These types of restorations reduce the risk of infection and improve the bite.
Tooth decay can cause a cavity to form. Cavities can cause tooth pain, infection, and even tooth loss if left untreated. However, dental fillings can repair the damage and restore the tooth’s natural function when caught early enough. Unlike crowns, dental fillings last for up to 15 years. Your dentist will determine which type is best suited for you and your teeth. If you have a tooth that has a cavity, you may opt for an amalgam filling. This type of filling is made of metals and minerals and may last for 10 to 15 years or more.
Dental hygienists check for oral cancer.
Oral cancer screening is a simple procedure that takes less than two minutes. The screening includes an extra-oral exam of the head and neck and an intra-oral examination of the lips, tongue, palate, floor of the mouth, and gum tissues. It can also help identify changes in any of these areas. If an abnormality is discovered, a dentist may recommend further testing by an oncologist or primary care physician.
Although many people are aware of the link between tobacco use and oral cancer, many are still unaware of the connection. For instance, many of these patients have no idea that they are at risk for oral cancer if they smoke or have a history of human papillomavirus. Another risk factor has several sexual partners. A dentist is obliged to inform patients of these risks and provide counseling to prevent or reduce the risk.