Going to the dentist can seem daunting and even make you feel like it is never worth it. At Kleinheinz Dentistry, we understand that visiting the dentist can be scary, but we strongly encourage all patients to come in at least once a year to ensure their smile’s health is in tip-top shape. With general dentistry in the Charlotte, North Carolina, area, you can get the help you need for your smile, from preventative care to restorative treatments.
General dentistry encompasses many services that prevent, diagnose, and treat most dental problems. In this post, we’ll guide you through the most frequently asked questions about general dentistry to help you understand this form of dental care and why it is crucial.
Frequently Asked Questions
Several questions surround general dentistry. What is it? What procedures does it offer? Is it important? All these questions are common, and fortunately, we have the answers for all of them!
What is General Dentistry?
General dentistry is a branch of medicine involving the care and maintenance of oral health. It encompasses a wide range of services and procedures, all to preserve the natural teeth as long as possible, ensuring the health of gums and oral tissues and keeping teeth looking and functioning their best. A general dentist is your primary care dental provider, and they diagnose, treat, and manage your oral healthcare needs, including routine check-ups, fillings, crowns, veneers, bridges, gum care, root canals, and preventive education.
How Often Should I Visit My Dentist for Routine Check-ups?
Visiting Dr. Jeffrey Kleinheinz at our office is essential to maintaining oral health. It would help to visit Dr. Jeffrey Kleinheinz at least twice yearly for routine check-ups and cleanings. However, if you have a history of dental problems like gum disease, Dr. Kleinheinz may recommend more frequent visits.
Does General Dentistry Cover Cosmetic Procedures?
While general dentistry primarily focuses on maintaining oral health, many general dentists like Dr. Kleinheinz also offer cosmetic procedures such as teeth whitening, veneers, and SureSmile! These cosmetic treatments are an excellent way to enhance your pearly whites from cosmetic concerns like discoloration, misalignments, cracked teeth, and tooth gaps. If you are interested in cosmetic dental treatments, you can speak with Dr. Jeffrey Kleinheinz during your bi-annual dental exam and cleaning or schedule a consultation appointment.
Are General Dentists Trained to Perform All Dental Procedures?
General dentists are trained to perform a wide range of dental procedures. However, some complex procedures may require the assistance of a dental specialist, such as an endodontist, periodontist, or oral surgeon.
What are Some Common Dental Problems That General Dentistry Can Help Treat?
General dentistry can help treat common dental problems such as cavities, gum disease, tooth decay, oral infections, and bad breath. Procedures we offer under general dentistry include:
- Cleaning and Check-Up: The American Dental Association recommends getting a dental check-up and cleaning every six months. Professional dental cleaning involves scaling and removing tartar and plaque buildup from your teeth. After cleaning, Dr. Kleinheinz will check your teeth and gums for any signs of cavities, gum disease, or other oral health issues. Regular check-ups and cleaning prevent minor dental problems from becoming severe dental problems and are essential for maintaining good oral health.
- Root Canal: People shudder at the mention of root canal therapy, but it’s not as bad as it was made out to be. Root canal therapy treats a severely infected tooth or decay that has spread to the roots. The procedure involves removing the infected material, cleaning the area, and filling the space permanently. Root canal therapy preserves the tooth and prevents it from becoming infected again.
- Fillings: Fillings fill in cavities caused by tooth decay and help restore the tooth’s functionality. During the procedure, the dentist removes the damaged portion of the tooth and fills the space using tooth-colored composite fillings, which blend in with your natural teeth, leaving you with a beautiful smile.
- Extractions: Extraction may be needed when a tooth is beyond repair. The most common reasons for tooth extraction are severe tooth decay, gum disease, and an impacted tooth. The procedure involves numbing the area around the tooth, making a small cut to remove the tooth, and closing the socket with stitches. We may recommend a dental implant or a bridge, which replaces the missing tooth, making it easier for you to eat and speak.
- Crowns and Bridges: Crowns (aka ‘caps’) cover a damaged tooth, making it stronger and protecting it from further damage. Bridges, however, are used to replace one or more missing teeth. The procedure for getting a crown or bridge involves two appointments. At the first visit, Dr. Kleinheinz will prepare your tooth, take impressions, and place a temporary crown or bridge. During the second visit, Dr. Kleinheinz will place the permanent crown or bridge, restoring the function and appearance of your teeth.
What is Preventive Dentistry, and Why is it Important?
Preventive dentistry refers to caring for your teeth to keep them healthy. This helps to avoid cavities, gum disease, enamel wear, and more. With regular dental visits and maintaining good oral hygiene at home, preventive dentistry aids in reducing the risk of developing severe dental problems. It’s important because it not only preserves the health of your teeth but also contributes to overall well-being.
How Can I Take Care of My Smile at Home?
One of the vital parts of general dentistry includes patient education. We strive to ensure each patient knows how to care for their smile at home between their regular check-ups. Some common ways you can take care of your smile and prevent cavities and gum disease include:
- Brush your teeth twice daily: Use fluoride toothpaste to remove plaque and food particles. Brushing first thing in the morning and before bed at night is recommended.
- Floss daily: Flossing can remove plaque and food particles between your teeth and under the gum line, which a toothbrush can’t reach.
- Limit sugary foods and drinks: These can lead to tooth decay. Rinse your mouth or brush your teeth after consuming such items.
- Visit a dentist regularly: Regular check-ups can help spot dental health issues early and keep your teeth and gums healthy.
- Drink plenty of water: Water helps to wash away food particles and keeps your saliva levels high. Saliva is your mouth’s natural defense against tooth decay.
- Avoid tobacco products: These can stain your teeth and increase your risk of gum disease and oral cancer.
- Use a mouth guard when participating in sports: This can protect your teeth from injury.
- Maintain a healthy diet: Consuming a balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and low-fat dairy products can provide essential nutrients for optimal oral health.
General Dentistry in Charlotte, NC
Visiting the dentist isn’t a favorite pastime for many people, but it’s essential for maintaining good oral health. From these frequently asked questions, you can have a deeper understanding of what general dentistry can do for you and your smile. From knowing what procedures this dental care offers to how to care for your smile at home, you can prepare yourself mentally and remove the anxiety that comes with an unknown process. A healthy and beautiful smile ensures a happier, healthier life.
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Kleinheinz today and start the journey of taking care of your smile today!