General dentistry is often the first line of defense for the oral health and hygiene of a person. A general dentist looks at the entire mouth and surrounding area to make certain that a person is healthy and that there are no immediate problems. There are many procedures that are involved in general dentistry from simple teeth cleanings up to placing fillings and crowns. If a problem seems to be very serious then it is possible that a general dentist might refer a patient to a specialist that has training in a single area. It is in this way that a general dentist maintains the overall health of the patient.
Many people are familiar with a general dentist because they often perform the basic dental jobs that must be done every year. The most important thing they can do is to clean the teeth and keep them healthy. Teeth that have been properly cleaned help to prevent more serious problems in the mouth like cavities and gum disease. By performing procedures like a tooth extraction a dentist is able to reverse some types of damage that could potentially develop into an even more serious problem.
A general dentist is also a key figure when considering the overall health of a patient. They are the first ones who can detect different forms of mouth cancer while it is still in the early treatable stages. They are also capable of detecting some neurological disorders that manifest in the jaw. There are even situations where the health of the teeth and gums can actually reduce the risk for a stroke. Catching these conditions early is something that can only be done by a trained dentist who knows what to look for.
General dentistry is often the first step towards living a healthy lifestyle. It is a gateway that many people use when they have to see specialists like orthodontists or oral surgeons. When applied on a regular basis, general dentistry is an invaluable marker for health and can prevent problems that could lead to a significant decline in the quality of life that a person is used to.