General dentistry, as in opposite to specialist dentistry, forms the foundation of a dental practice and it is what defines the quality and excellence of care being provided. The procedures that generally fall under the umbrella of general dentistry are:
a. Oral Hygiene Cleaning
A professional dental cleaning, also known as a ‘prophylaxis’ or ‘scaling’ is advocated every six months. A professional dental cleaning, reinforces the at-home oral health regimen, and cleans those parts of your teeth that your toothbrush and floss cannot access. Prophylaxis removes plaque/tarter deposits in the gum sulcus using ultrasonic scalars, followed by polishing of all teeth to remove stains.
A commonly asked question is “What is caries?” In brief, caries is a bacterial infection of the tooth caused by natural bacteria that live in your mouth. The bacteria acts on sugary and starchy food deposits left on your teeth and produces acids. These acids dissolve the tooth enamel that leads to a cavity (hole) in the tooth. Caries is easily preventable by avoiding sugary diets (chocolates etc) and brushing your teeth after each meal.
c. Root canal procedures
Caries, if not treated in time, grow bigger and eventually reach the nerve, the deepest section of the tooth resulting in excruciating pain and infection, two factors that will take the most dentally-phobic patients to the dentist. Unfortunately at this point, their worst nightmare comes true and we have to do the dreaded Root Canal Treatment (RCT).
So what exactly is a Root Canal Treatment?
d. Oral Surgery
Sometimes gross caries decay of the teeth takes place without any pain, which means that the person remains unaware of the damage to his/her teeth and never visits the dentist. This eventually leads to complete decay of the tooth crown leaving behind broken down roots giving rise to a gap in the teeth. Such broken down roots become eligible for extraction. Extraction of teeth, fortunately, is a rare event in our practice. We are primarily restorative dentists and take pride in our long history of restoring broken down roots to functional teeth capable of chewing for years and years.