When you think of a general dentist, you may only picture cleanings, X-rays and fillings. However, general dentists are trained is just about every aspect of dentistry. Check out these five myths regarding general dentists.
Myth #1: General Dentists Only Treat Adults
If you have children, your child probably has their own doctor: a pediatrician. However, there are many doctors that see children, teens and adults. Similarly, you don't have to take your child to a pediatric dentist. Many general dentists accept children as patients. The benefits of choosing one dentist for your entire family are immense. First, the dentist gets to know your family, including important oral history that may affect more than one family member. Second, as your child grows, they can continue to see the same dentist, which means the dentist is familiar with their personal dental history, and your child gets to continue to see someone with whom they are comfortable. Last, you can group appointments, so everyone goes in at once instead of splitting up cleanings into several visits.
Myth #2: General Dentists Can't Offer Quality Cosmetic Procedures
Cosmetic dentistry is on the rise, and thanks to the great advancements is cosmetic dentistry, just about anyone can get the perfect smile they've always wanted. In the past, to get quality cosmetic dental procedures, you may have needed to see a specialist because cosmetic procedures were more rare, so general dentists didn't bother learning much about them. However, because cosmetic procedures are so popular, more and more general dentists are learning different cosmetic skills with continuing education. If a general dentist does offer cosmetic procedures, make sure to ask about their training, so you know they are qualified, and ask to see before and after pictures.
Myth #3: General Dentists Can't Perform Root Canal Therapy
A lot of times, if you need root canal therapy, your dentist may send you to an endodontist. Endodontists are special dentists who solely deal with issues like root canal infections. Of course, depending on your dentist's training, you may not need to see a specialist. To serve their patients better, some dentists have taken extra courses in learning how to perform successful root canal therapy. This way, you don't have to go see someone you don't know. Like with cosmetic procedures, however, make sure your dentist has specialized training in root canal therapy. If they don't, it would be best to find someone else or see an endodontist for the procedure.
Myth #4: General Dentists Don't Extract Wisdom Teeth
This myth can actually be quite true, but it depends on the situation and your dentist's experience. If a wisdom tooth has grown normally, meaning it is fully erupted and not impacted, your general dentist can usually easily remove it. The problem with wisdom teeth is that because there isn't enough room in the mouth, they often grown in sideways (impacted) or they don't fully erupt. This can lead to infection, pain and damage to healthy teeth. To remove these teeth, an incision must be made in the gums. Many dentists will send their patients to an oral surgeon for this procedure, but there are some general dentists who have the training to extract the tooth.
Myth #5: General Dentists Don't Offer Teeth-Straightening Options
When you think about teeth-straightening, you probably picture an orthodontist. They specialize in straightening teeth. The downside, however, is that orthodontists are often more expensive than general dentists. You don't necessarily have to see an orthodontist for your crooked teeth. Many general dentists also offer straightening options, such as Invisalign. If your teeth are severely crooked or you have a misaligned bite or occlusion problems, it may be best to see an orthodontist who is better experienced, but for minor to moderate crookedness and gapping, a general dentist can usually help.
General dentists provide more than just preventative and minor restorative care for adult patients. When you choose a general dentist, your entire family can get a healthy and beautiful smile. For more information about what a general dentist can do for you, contact a clinic like Martinsville Family Dentistry today.