General Dentistry in Anchorage Alaska
When most people think about what dentists do, the first thing that pops into their mind is “fill cavities.” While this very specific procedure is always one that dentists master very quickly, general dentists like the ones at Mint Dental Alaska in Anchorage, have a much larger toolbox than you might imagine.
Here, we’ll outline some of the general dentistry services we offer so that you get the most out of your next appointment.
What does general dentistry include?
So, what does general dentistry include? In some ways, that’s a difficult question to answer, because every dentist may have a slightly different skill-set than another. It often helps to think of your general dentist like a family physician for the teeth. Like a normal doctor takes care of the whole body, a general dentist’s primary job is the detection of oral health problems. Just as you should visit your doctor every year to get an overall health checkup, you should visit your dentist every six months to get a status update on the state of your teeth.
If everyone brushed and flossed their teeth every day and had naturally perfect teeth, detection and diagnosis would make up the majority of a dentist’s job, but, unfortunately, teeth aren’t always naturally healthy. Just as some people are predispositioned to catch the flu every year, some dental patients naturally need a lot of work done on their teeth. Thus, the second job of the general dentist is to perform restorative treatments that can return a patient’s teeth to their original health.
The restorative dentistry that general dentists perform can take many forms. It would be too much to list every procedure (and you should ask your dentist what he or she specifically offers), but the most common treatments performed by dentists include:
- Cavity fillings that might be needed for patients who develop cavities from tooth decay.
- Root canals which treat more serious forms of tooth decay (typically in situation when the decay begins to affect the nerves in the teeth).
- Gum disease treatments that can range from a simple cleaning to more complex procedures like root planing and scaling (also known as “deep cleaning”).
- Dental veneers that cover and help protect the teeth from outside damage.
What should I expect from a general checkup?
Most patients typically barely scratch the surface of what their dentist can offer whereas others might need to jump from procedure to procedure. Regardless of the state of his or her teeth, though, every patient shares one type of appointment — the infamous biannual general checkup that we briefly mentioned above.
During the checkup, your general dentist will examine your teeth in a variety of ways to detect and anticipate possible oral health issues. Using specialized tools, he or she will carefully poke and prod at your teeth and gums, checking for any signs of bacteria buildup that could lead to bigger problems. Usually, this up close and personal look will be accompanied by the taking of a series of x-rays that provide a more comprehensive view of the insides of the teeth.
After making sure every potential problem is detected and recorded, your dentist will prescribe an appropriate treatment (usually requiring a second appointment) before turning you over to the oral hygienists. These specially trained and licensed professionals will carefully clean your teeth, getting the spots that are not so easy to reach on your own and advising you on how to improve your daily oral hygiene. Together, these two parts of the “general checkup” keep your teeth healthy and safe both now and in the future.
Haven’t been to the dentist in a while, or curious what our dentists can offer you? Schedule an appointment today with a general dentist at Mint Dental Alaska to jump start your oral health care. Call (907) 646-8670to set up a visit or explore our website at hmgdev3.com!