Frequently Asked Questions
Q - What is General Dentistry?
A – Years ago, medical physicians used to have to treat conditions related to the mouth as well as other areas of the body, such as tooth decay and gum disease. Some parts of medical and dental study still overlap, but dentistry is now its own recognised science.
General dentistry is the study and practice of preventing, diagnosing and treating oral health conditions and diseases of the mouth, teeth and gums. These dentists are often recognised as the “gatekeepers” of oral health care who also strive to educate and inform the public about the importance of their oral hygiene for general health and wellbeing.
Q - How does General Dentistry differ from other branches of dentistry?
A – General dentists do not necessarily perform complex dental surgeries or have expertise in particular dental techniques, such as Orthodontics, Periodontics, or Cosmetic Surgery. However, general dentists may provide dental treatments that are preventative, maintaining or restorative, like fillings and crowns.
Dental experts will choose a branch of oral medicine to dedicate their study and experience in, such as Endodontists, who have expertise in understanding and treating the inner-functions of the teeth, such as root canal therapy.
The General Dental Council have identified thirteen dental expert areas, which include: Oral Medicine and Surgery; Dental Public Health; Oral Microbiology; Maxillofacial Pathology and Radiology; Oral Pathology; Dental Radiology; Restorative Dentistry; Orthodontics; Prosthodontics; Endodontics; Periodontics and Pediatric Dentistry.
These expert areas differ from General Dentistry in their focus, their training, their scope of treatment and practice. General dental practitioners register with the General Dental Council (GDC) to practice dentistry in the UK after completing the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS or BChD) qualification. Once advanced specialist training is completed, dental specialists have to apply for a certificate before they are placed on the General Dental Council’s specialist list.
Q – What different types of General Dentistry treatments are there?
A – The treatments in general dentistry are preventative, diagnostic, and for oral maintenance. The treatment involves a general dentist developing a patient-specific dental hygiene plan which includes advice on personal oral hygiene, initial examinations, cleaning and scaling of teeth.
These plans also involve use of X-ray or diagnostic technologies to identify onset of decay or gum disease that can be treated with restorative procedures early, before causing further trauma or oral defect. If you have questions about the type of dentistry and functions, ask our resident dentist who will explain the dental role to you.
Q – Who needs General Dentistry treatment?
A – All people need general dentistry treatment to help them learn about and practice oral hygiene standards that prevents plaque build-up, tooth decay and mouth diseases. Certain sexually transmitted diseases manifest as sores in the mouth, and this too can be identified by a general dentist who is trained in diagnosing oral conditions and providing treatments that restore patients to their optimum oral health.
General dentists may have specialised in a particular field of dentistry, but still practice preventative, diagnostic and restorative procedures. Even cosmetic dentists are trained in general dentistry before helping patients achieve sustained oral care and aesthetic dental and facial beauty.
Q – How do I know which General Dentistry treatment is right for me?
A – Once you have met with a general dentist and have had your teeth and gums examined, a diagnosis will be provided to you with recommended treatments. You may wish to compare the types of treatments and costs, and if you have any questions in this regard, please do contact our resident dentist who looks forward to answering any of your questions.
Q – What are the benefits of General Dentistry treatment?
A – The advantages of general dentistry are vast, and include not only prevention in spread of oral health diseases, but also enhance oral health care for the public through education, maintenance and restorative practice.
These treatments are recognised in being necessary for general medical wellbeing of patients, whose physical and mental health can be impacted by poor oral health. General dentists are available through private options or via the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK, and can refer patients to expert dentist if advanced and specific treatment is necessary.
Q - What materials and technologies are used in General Dentistry?
A – General dentists use equipment similar to dental experts, such as diagnostic X-ray and restorative technologies, however these technologies may be for more general dental use. Materials that include dental putty, resin adhesive, dental cement, and porcelain, are also used in treatments. Bio-compatible materials may also be available. If you have questions about equipment and materials used in dentistry, our resident dentist can explain these to you at your examination.
Q - How safe is General Dentistry?
A – General dentistry strives to reduce oral – and therefore medical too – risks from diseases and to advance methods for prevention, diagnosis, maintenance and treatment of oral health conditions. The treatments have evolved over the years and are approved by the dentistry council within each country.
Certain treatments do pose risks to patients, but the treatment risk may outweigh the risk of opting for no treatment that can cause severe illness later on. When your diagnosis is provided after examination, our resident dentist can explain your recommended treatments and any potential risks, and how these too can be reduced.
Q – Is General Dentistry treatment permanent?
A – The permanence of dental treatment overall depends on the intensity of any oral injury incurred, the oral state of someone’s health who has a mouth disease, and also the type of treatment selected.
Initial treatments and maintenance treatments do depend on dental material durability rate and also on how well patients follow recommended oral hygiene practices. Our resident dentist will address any of your questions about treatments with you at your oral examination.
Q – How much does General Dentistry treatment cost?
A – The cost of general dentistry treatment depends on patient-specific diagnosis, the dental clinic selected, the type of treatments recommended, and the materials used during the procedures. Our resident dentist can discuss any costs and payment plans with you, to ensure your oral health is at its best.
Q – How much do Dental Crowns cost?
A – The cost of dental crowns depends on the patient’s overall health and treatment required, the type of crown to be fitted, and also the choice of practice for treatment. Our resident dentist will explain all costs with you at initial examination and will also discuss our payment options with you.
Q – Are there any alternatives to Dental Crown treatment?
A – Composite bonding can be used as an alternative to a dental crown, but if too much tooth structure is damaged, then having a crown fitted may still be the better option. If you are looking for an option to improve the aesthetic look of your teeth, then porcelain veneers or lumineers may be a less invasive treatment to consider. If you wish to know more about alternatives to dental crowns, ask our resident dentist for further information.