General Dentist: Definition, Advantage, and Cost

A general dentist pertains to a person holding a license for a dentistry profession and delivers a very broad range of dental care assistance to clients of all age groups. It is a person who is honed by both education and training to attain an adequate degree of knowledge and skills in the field of dental care. The training is to be able to provide diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diverse dental issues, which include tooth decay, gum disease, and oral infections.

The services that a typical general dentist offers are preventive care, restorative care, and cosmetic dentistry. Furthermore, it conducts gum disease treatment, oral surgery, and emergency dental care.

The advantages of having a general dentist treatment are comprehensive oral health care, early detection and treatment of dental issues, and preventive care to help avoid dental problems. The cost of consulting a general dentist due to several kinds of reasons varies from as low as $75 to $1500. The price depends on the complexity of the procedure, the level of expertise needed to accomplish it, the equipment needed to be utilized, and other influencing factors.

What is a General Dentist?

A general dentist is a skilled and expert individual who is highly trained and licensed to supply a wide scope of dental assistance to clients of all ages. A general dentist is normally the first individual to reach for clients who are looking for dental care and is accountable for diagnosing, treating, and controlling general oral health needs.

General Dentist

It is allowed to execute regular dental processes, which include teeth cleaning, fillings, extractions, and root canals, along with more advanced procedures such as crowns, bridges, and dentures. Additionally, it supplies awareness and advice on how to maintain excellent oral hygiene and avoid dental issues. It has the authority to refer a client to a specialist such as an orthodontist or periodontist if the case of a client demands advanced treatment beyond its scope.

What are the requirements needed to be a general dentist?

The requirements needed to be a general dentist are listed below.

  • Education: It is the primary and one of the most important requirements to become a general dentist. A person must complete a bachelor’s degree coming from a recognized college or university prior to the start of dental school. It is then followed by attending and graduating from a dental school accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation or CODA. It normally consumes four years of full-time study.
  • Dental Admissions Test (DAT): It is the test to guarantee that a person is knowledgeable enough to proceed into dentistry school. A person who passes it is allowed to study dentistry.
  • Licensure: Every state is requiring dentistry graduates to be licensed before doing any medical procedures. A board examination is called the National Board Dental Examinations and a clinical examination must be taken to assess the knowledge and skills in treating patients. The dentistry graduates who have successfully passed the exam are given licenses to operate.
  • Continuing Education: A general dentist must complete continuing education courses within the entire duration of their career to be able to maintain knowledge of new methods, technologies, and advancements in the field. The broad field of dentistry always has new modifications every year and these must be followed by certified dentists.
  • Skills and Personal Qualities: A general dentist must possess strong manual dexterity, outstanding communication abilities, and a high degree of attention to detail. Furthermore, it must have good problem-solving skills, be able to operate under pressure, and have the desire to provide assistance to people in maintaining their oral health.

What Kinds of Services Do General Dentists Provide?

General Dentist

The kinds of services that a general dentist provides are listed below.

  • Oral Examinations: A general dentist executes regular oral examinations for clients to investigate for signs of dental problems. These dental problems that are being examined range from tooth decay to gum disease and oral cancer.
  • Teeth Cleanings: Routine teeth cleanings are allowed to be executed by a general dentist to get rid of plagues and tartar buildup, which are the primary causative agents for tooth decay and gum disease.
  • Fillings: The process of repairing teeth that are caused by decay or other forms needs fillings. It starts with getting rid of decayed or damaged portions of the tooth and filling it with a filling material to revive the shape, function, and strength of the tooth.
  • Extractions: It is the most usual service that a general dentist provides to the clients visiting the clinic. A general dentist is required to remove the tooth if it is severely damaged or infected and does not have the chance to be saved through other services.
  • Root Canals: It is a procedure to cure infections that were able to reach the innermost part of a tooth which is known as the pulp level. It involves removing the infected or inflamed pulp, cleaning and disinfecting the inside of the tooth, and then filling and sealing the tooth to prevent further infections.
  • Crowns and Bridges: These are done to repair and replace a damaged or missing tooth. The process starts with numbing the affected tooth with local anesthesia, preparing it by removing any decay or damaged area, taking an impression or digital scan of the teeth, and placing the crowns and bridges.
  • Dentures: A general dentist produces dentures to replace missing teeth, either partially or fully. It is a common assistance provided to geriatric patients, but is rendered to younger patients as well.
  • Orthodontics: It is a part of the scope of services by which a general dentist places braces on the teeth of the patient for alignment of both the teeth and the bite. However, severe cases are referred to a specialist.
  • Oral Health Education: Guidance and advice on how to maintain good oral hygiene habits and avoid dental problems are given by a general dentist as part of preventive measures.

How Can I Tell If I Need a General Dentist?

People are able to tell if they need a general dentist if they are currently having any dental concerns, which include pain or sensitivity in the teeth, gums, or jaw. A toothache or sensitivity sometimes indicates that there is tooth decay or gum disease. Bleeding or swollen gums are an indicator of gingivitis, which is considered the early degree of gum disease.

Furthermore, bad breath or halitosis is a common manifestation of gum disease and other mild to severe dental problems. Moreover, a loose or missing tooth is something that must be checked by a general dentist because it is another probable sign of advanced gum disease or tooth decay.

Additionally, jaw pain or popping is a sign of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). These typical dental problems are possible symptoms of diseases that are treated by a capable general dentist.

What is the Average cost of a General Dentist?

The average cost of a general dentist ranges around $75 to $300 depending on the services that are to be availed. A routine dental checkup and cleaning of teeth has an estimated cost of around $75 to $200 on average. Furthermore, a dental filling normally has a price range between $100 to $300 per tooth.

On the other hand, the client must expect to pay $75 to $450 if undergoing a tooth extraction, which depends on the severity of the case. The cost goes around $225 to $600 per tooth for more complex extractions such as impacted wisdom teeth. Additionally, a more advanced root canal procedure is approximately $500 to $1500 on a single tooth only.

There are a lot of factors that influence the cost of a general dentist. Firstly, types of service or procedures are highly influential when it comes to average cost because varying dental treatments demand different kinds of surgical equipment or materials and degrees of skills.

Secondly, the quality of technology and instruments utilized affect the cost of a general dentist, as more advanced and high-quality tools require higher payments. Thirdly, the experience and qualifications of the general dentist influence the cost, mainly because more experienced and reputable ones charge higher than those with a few years of experience and qualifications.

Lastly, there are extra charges and payments for other materials and procedures that are done. These are mostly X-rays, anesthesia, or emergency appointments which elevate the average cost drastically most of the time.

What are the procedures performed by General Dentists?

There are a lot of varying procedures that are performed by a general dentist, mainly because it covers a very broad field. A typical general dentist is responsible for assessing and diagnosing a client who enters a clinic because of a particular dental concern. It performs several tests such as X-rays and oral cancer screening to confirm the diagnosis and to provide appropriate and adequate treatment.

Furthermore, it delivers preventive measures to avoid the risk of complications. These preventive measures include regular and general cleaning to prevent certain diseases and the accumulation of cavities to occur. Moreover, it gives invasive procedures that require the usage of anesthesia such as tooth extraction.

Additionally, a general dentist is given the authority to render more advanced services such as root canal procedures, orthodontic treatment, and crowns and bridges. However, these treatments are heavily monitored because severe cases must be handed over to a specialist.

Is Dental Procedure for General Dentists Painful?

General Dentist

No, dental procedures done by general dentists are not painful. The modernization and improvements in the equipment, materials, and technologies utilized by general dentists make the procedure less painful and uncomfortable compared to before.

All invasive procedures that are done by a general dentist always start with applying or administering local anesthesia to numb the site around the tooth being cured, which aids in minimizing pain and discomfort at the lowest rate possible. Additionally, there are general dentists who offer sedation choices, which include nitrous oxide or laughing gas, to make the clients feel relaxed and more comfortable throughout the whole procedure.

It is still important to note that dental procedures done by a general dentist sometimes cause subtle pain and discomfort, but they are tolerable overall. However, there are rare cases in which the procedure is very painful because the dosage is not enough and the technique was not done appropriately, which must be reported immediately by the client.

Can a General dentist treat cavities?

Yes, a general dentist can treat cavities. Treating cavities is in fact one of the most usual procedures executed by a general dentist. A general dentist is highly trained to provide treatment for cavities, which means that a client does not have to consult a specialist. It is part of the scope of expertise of a general dentist to treat cases of cavities and sometimes prevent the probable cases.

General Dentist

The procedure of treating cavities done by a general dentist starts with removing the decayed portion of the tooth by utilizing a drill. It is then cleaned by the dentist and filled with a dental filling to get the original shape and function of the tooth.

What are the Advantages of having General Dentist Treatment?

Comprehensive oral health care offers numerous advantages, including early detection and treatment of dental issues, preventive care to avoid dental problems, and fully functional teeth without pain and decay. It refers to the overall healthy state of the mouth, where regular check-ups and treatments prevent severe problems such as gum issues, impacted wisdom teeth, and infections. This proactive approach ensures timely intervention, reduces the need for invasive procedures, and helps patients maintain optimal oral health. Regular cleanings and preventive measures prevent the accumulation of cavities and decay, resulting in healthier teeth and a reduced risk of tooth extraction.

What are the Disadvantages of not having General Dentist Treatment?

Neglecting regular dental care has several disadvantages, including an increased risk of dental concerns, deteriorated oral health, and the presence of pain and discomfort. Without regular cleanings and checkups, dental issues can worsen over time, leading to conditions such as cavities, gum disease, and oral infections. Neglected oral health can result in manifestations like bad breath, tooth decay, and tooth loss. Additionally, the absence of general dentist treatment can cause severe gum pain and tooth sensitivity. To avoid these disadvantages, it is crucial to prioritize regular dental visits and maintain good oral hygiene practices.

How to choose the best establishment that offers General Dentist treatment?

There are various ways, steps, and factors to consider when choosing the best establishment that offers a general dentist treatment. Firstly, begin with a broad search and base it on very significant factors such as credibility, pricing, and success rate, among others. Look for some evidence on their clinic or on the internet by looking at the before and after pictures of their clients, along with how they conduct pre- and post-operative care.

Secondly, narrow down the options by eliminating those with mediocre performances to arrive at the best ones. The establishments with very expensive rates, questionable credibility, and low success rates must be removed from the lists immediately as these are most likely not efficient. Furthermore, establishments that are not able to provide before and after photos, and pre- and post-operative care must get rid of. The narrower the options, the better the choices, especially if it is top 5 or top 3.

Thirdly, create a connection by asking more detailed queries to each finalist after the options have been narrowed down. Ask the office of the top establishments on the list directly regarding the policies on safety, comfort, cancellations, emergencies, and technologies. Additionally, visiting their offices provides the opportunity to have a glance at their working environment and how they conduct their respective procedures.

Lastly, finalize the option by making a decision on which of these establishment candidates is the best. A client must set an appointment immediately after the chosen establishment has been determined. However, a client is encouraged to repeat the entire process again if none of the candidates is eligible to conduct procedures due to incompetence.

Is there a difference between a General Dentist and an endodontist?

Yes, there is a difference between a general dentist and an endodontist. A general dentist is the one who does the most common dental procedures that do not require more advanced treatments. They perform several kinds of basic routine treatments like assessments and cleanings, preventive care, extractions, dental procedures, and diagnostics. On the other hand, an endodontist is a specialist who has been able to fully have extra training and studies in diagnosing and treating concerns connected to the pulp and roots of the teeth. It focuses on performing root canal therapy.

A general dentist is allowed to do a root canal procedure, but only the less complicated ones. Deeper and more severe infections are directly referred to an endodontist because they are more knowledgeable about them. They are more skilled, and they have the best equipment and materials to be utilized to treat the infections. They use technological tools such as microscopes and digital imaging for diagnosing and treating complex root canal cases.

Is there a difference between General Dentist and Periodontist?

Yes, there is a difference between a general dentist and a periodontist. A general dentist is different because it covers a wider scope but a less specific job. It is more of the simpler yet more common dental remedies and is the most usually visited by clients with dental concerns.

A periodontist is a dental expert who focuses on the prevention, identification, and therapy of periodontal conditions, which involves the gums and bone that support the teeth. A periodontist is a trained dentist to perform advanced operations, such as scaling and root planing (deep cleaning), gum grafts, and dental implants, to treat and handle the periodontal disease.

Although a general dentist is capable of providing basic periodontal assistance, which includes regular cleanings and assessments, they are still required to transfer clients with advanced periodontal disorders to a periodontist for a more focused cure.

Is there a difference between a General Dentist and Pedodontist?

Yes, there is a difference between a general dentist and a pedodontist. A pedodontist refers to a dentist who specializes and focuses on supplying dental health assistance to children from infancy through the stage of adolescence. Specialized training in curing the unique dental needs of children, which includes handling dental development and the act of preventing and curing of dental concerns in children are the things associated with a typical pedodondist.

Whereas, a general dentist is a reliable person in giving basic services to all ages. It does not have any specific age group to treat; hence, everyone with simpler dental concerns must not hesitate to consult a general dentist.

Is there a difference between General Dentist and Prosthodontist?

Yes, there is a difference between a general dentist and a prosthodontist. A general dentist is a skilled person who delivers broad assistance to every client. It is tasked to perform simple cosmetic dental techniques for clients who experience deformation and other kinds of damage in the structure and shape of teeth.

A prosthodontist restores and replaces missing or damaged teeth. However, it is more advanced when it comes to the design, fabrication, and placement of dental prostheses, which include crowns, bridges, and dental implants.

A general dentist has limited knowledge in terms of these procedures but is allowed to execute the most basic ones. On the other hand, a prosthodontist has very specific skills in the cosmetic industry and is able to execute highly difficult operations such as full-mouth reconstruction and smile makeovers to enhance the aesthetics and function of the teeth and jaws.

Can a general dentist perform implants?

Yes, a general dentist is able to perform implants. A general dentist is allowed to execute the procedure if every aspect of the area to be operated is healthy and well. It is considered to be a part of the scope of a general dentist if no extra treatments are demanded.

The jawbone strength must be sufficient and healthy gums and the tooth have not been gone for long in order for a general dentist to perform. However, it is already restricted if the case is severe and there are many advanced treatments needed. A general dentist must refer the case to a certified prosthodontist if it is beyond the basic operations to avoid further complications to occur.

Do general dentists have the ability to provide braces?

Yes, a general dentist has the ability to provide braces. It is part of the services of a general dentist to deliver traditional metal braces, clear aligners, or other orthodontic equipment to straighten teeth, make the bite concerns correct, and enhance overall dental status.

It supplies regular assessments and adjustments to guarantee that the treatment plan is in the appropriate progress. However, it is very important to note that clients with severe cases who need braces must go to an orthodontist instead. An orthodontist is more reliable than a general dentist in terms of more complex procedures.

Dentist Dr. Dt. Erdem CETIN
Dentist Dr. Dt. Erdem CETIN

He started his professional career in a private practice in Antalya in 2005 and served there until 2012. Between 2012 and 2016, he continued his work as a partner at the institution named KlinikAntalya. In 2016, he founded Myra Dental Centre Turkey and continues his professional activities there. Additionally, he has strengthened his expertise in the field with his membership in the International Congress of Oral Implantology (ICOI).