General dentistry is the term given to the dentist you see for your routine checkups. Sometimes you will hear general dentists or family dentist. They offer routine procedures for patients, such as x-rays, examinations, cleanings, fillings, root canal treatments, and general instruction about keeping up with your oral health.
If you take care of your teeth, you only need to see a general dentist and possibly an orthodontist throughout your life. Going to a general dentist twice a year for your cleaning and checkup is a good way to maintain good oral health, and over time you get to know your dentist every year.
Routine visits to your dentist are important, because part of your dentist’s job is to protect from potential problems such as gum disease that would require further treatment from a specialist. In other words, keeping your routine dental appointments will often saving you from needing painful dental surgery, expensive later.
Sometimes your general dentist will determine if you have a problem or disease beyond his area of expertise. When this happens, you will be referred to a specialist in the field that you need.
Your dentist should explain why it is necessary to see this specialist, and should send your records along with you to save time and money when you get to the specialist’s office. Some treatments, such as a root canal, can be done at your general dentist.