General Dentist or Family Dentist: Which Is Right for You?

General Dentist or Family Dentist: Which Is Right for You? from Assembly Dental in Somerville, MAFinding the right dentist for your oral health needs can be difficult. Many questions may come to mind, such as whether a general dentist or a family dentist is the right choice. In this blog, we will discuss the differences between general and family dentists, helping to give you a better understanding of when to choose a general dentist.

Family dentistry vs. general dentistry

A family dentist treats patients of all ages, making them the first choice for parents with young children. General dentists, on the other hand, focus on treating patients with adult teeth (also known as “permanent teeth”). Both offer a variety of dental services, from teeth cleanings to dentures. The difference lies in the age ranges they treat.

Why choose a general dentist?

A general dentist may be the right choice if one is looking for a dentist who is well-versed in treating permanent teeth and issues specific to them. In fact, a general dentist is the primary dentist for many patients with adult teeth, from young adults to senior citizens. They can also complete various dental services, as detailed below.

Preventative care

The most common services general dentists offer are routine teeth cleanings and oral exams. Completed every six months, these are preventative services that help patients maintain healthy teeth and prevent oral health conditions from progressing by catching them early on. The dentist may also take regular dental X-rays to detect deeper issues at these appointments.

Additionally, general dentists can advise patients on maintaining a good oral hygiene routine at home, such as with proper brushing and flossing techniques. If the teeth are sensitive, a general dentist may recommend a fluoride treatment, such as a varnish, to help restore the tooth enamel and avoid further damage. To protect the teeth from external or pressure injuries, they may also recommend a custom-made mouthguard for athletes or for those who grind their teeth while sleeping.

Restorative dentistry

Unfortunately, oral health problems can arise even for patients who take great care of their teeth. General dentists can fill cavities and repair cracked, chipped, or other types of broken teeth. Often, they will make these repairs using dental bonding, a composite resin that blends in with natural teeth. If the damage is extensive, they can also place a dental crown, complete a root canal, or perform a tooth extraction.

General dentists may provide traditional dentures for older adults who have lost many teeth. They can also help with refitting or relining dentures when needed. The goal is to return the patient’s smile to working order, so they can eat, talk, and smile with ease.

Cosmetic dentistry

General dentists offer some cosmetic dentistry services, such as professional teeth whitening to brighten stained or discolored teeth. They may also offer dental veneers as a solution to cracked, discolored, or uneven teeth. Veneers are thin, tooth-colored shells (made of porcelain or composite resin) that fit over the fronts of the teeth to achieve that perfect movie-star smile.

Some general dentists also offer clear aligners to help patients obtain proper alignment. Aligners are an alternative to traditional metal braces — they consist of clear, removable plastic instead of metal. Due to their short treatment time, dentists often recommend them to teens and adults.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: General Dentist in Somerville, MA

Book an appointment today

If you are looking for a dentist for you, your parents, or a young adult or teen, a general dentist may be the best choice. To learn more about our dental services or to schedule a teeth cleaning, give our office a call today. We look forward to speaking with you.

Request an appointment or call Assembly Dental at 857-300-5779 for an appointment in our Somerville office.

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