What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
You head for the bathroom to brush your teeth. It’s a force of habit, one that your parents likely ingrained in you in childhood. You’re probably also used to coming in for regular checkups and cleaning sessions at your neighborhood general dental clinic,
Why do you really make that appointment every six months or so?
To avoid toothaches? Because of the requirements of your dental insurance plan? Or, maybe, to maintain that sparkling smile that is an integral part of your personality.
Whatever may be your reason, you do make that trip to the general dentist. The next time you schedule a cleaning session for dental hygiene, take a few minutes to explore why you absolutely need it. And, prepare to be surprised by the answers.
Let’s Talk About the Obvious Reasons Why You Need to Visit the Dentist
General dentistry is all about the prevention of oral diseases like gum infections and buildup of plaque and tartar. When you come in for a checkup, the oral care professional checks for any cavities, tooth decay, and bacterial infections. These infections can occur in the tiny crevices of your oral structure where your toothbrush cannot reach.
After conducting a thorough examination, the dentist evaluates the health of your teeth. If needed, x-rays and other diagnostic tests are done to identify the cause of any problems you may have. Next, the oral care practitioner at the general dental clinic recommends the right procedures to resolve the issues. It may interest you to know that 65% of all procedures are conducted as preventive and diagnostic measures. Identifying and treating any problem at the onset prevents it from causing bigger ailments down the line.
If you need more extensive procedures, you’ll get recommendations and referrals to other doctors. Dentistry has a wide scope with lots of different kinds of treatment. For instance, an endodontist specializes in the soft tissues of the teeth, such as dental pulp, roots, and nerves. And, experts in children’s dentistry have the necessary training to treat kids.
Most patients only think about toothaches, tooth loss, or possibly workdays lost because of these issues. But, that’s only a part of your overall health.
Your Overall Health and Wellness Depends on that Visit to the General Dentistry
General dentists care for the oral health of all the members of your family – ranging from kids who are just cutting their first baby teeth to elderly parents. You absolutely need the various services these professionals provide for overall wellness. Here’s why:
- Not having healthy teeth gets in the way of chewing food properly. As a result, patients tend to swallow most of their food without processing it in the mouth. The body finds it hard to digest the food, which in turn, leads to frequent indigestion and stomach problems. Many patients choose soft or semi-soft foods that may not provide adequate nutrition and lead to severe deficiencies. Malnourishment and low levels of vitamins and minerals are common problems in people who have bad teeth
- Dental bacteria can find its way into your bloodstream and travel to other organs. Like the American Dental Association warns, oral plaque is often connected to heart disease, bacterial pneumonia, and strokes. That’s because the plaque can accumulate on the walls of the arteries and slow down blood flow. A visit to the dental clinic can lower the risk by getting rid of the plaque as soon as it forms.
- Bacteria and the resultant inflammation can weaken the body’s immune system. Accordingly, patients are more prone to developing diseases like diabetes or blood cell disorders.
- Women who have periodontal or gum disease are more likely to deliver premature infants. Or, their babies may have low birth weight
- Misaligned teeth could cause problems like snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.Not getting enough sleep and rest can lead to a whole range of additional health issues.
- Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)disorder is also one of the effects of an improper bite and can lead to headaches, earaches, and other problems.
- Studies have also linked respiratory diseases, cancer, and osteoporosis to dental ailments.
Personal and Emotional Health
- An improper dental structure can make it hard for you to speak and pronounce words clearly. This issue can affect your personal life, relationships, and career.
- Imperfections like chipped, broken, and misaligned teeth affect your entire appearance. You might find it hard to get that job you wanted or a date with that special someone.
- Feeling conscious of your teeth makes you hesitant to smile. People are less inclined to trust you and that factor can affect all the spheres of your life. Getting restorative procedures at the general dental clinic can help by repairing your smile and with it, your entire appearance.
Dental Problems Can Warn of Potential Illnesses You Didn’t Know About
Oftentimes, dental problems are warnings that you have other health issues. For instance, if the general dentist detects periodontal disease or a fruity odor on your breath, she might suspect diabetes. Typically, diabetes is both, the cause and effect of gum disease. Treating one condition can help you control the other. Here’s another example. In case you have white or red patches in your mouth, that could be a sign of uncontrolled blood sugar. A quick checkup at the general dental clinic can detect the disease at an early stage so you can control it and stay healthy.
Understanding the Services Provided at General Dentistry
Most general dentists perform a range of treatments to keep your teeth, gums, tongue, and mouth in perfect health. Here are some of the services you can get:
As explained earlier an essential part of general dentistry is preventing oral diseases. Your dental practitioner helps you by conducting thorough examinations. If she suspects a problem, she may also run tests to confirm. You’ll come in for additional treatments like:
- Professional cleaning sessions where the accumulated plaque and tartar are removed
- Advice on the at-home and over-the-counter products you can use regularly
- Sealants on the enamel to prevent sensitivity and cavities
- Protective gear like customized mouth guards to prevent injury in case of athletes who play high-contact sports
- Mouth guards to prevent snoring and teeth clenching or bruxism
- Other procedures that protect from gum infections and diseases along with loss of tooth enamel
- Oral screenings to identify the possibility of cancer
If you need to improve the appearance of your smile, do stop by the general dental clinic in Calgary. You can find out about the different procedures that can give you that bright, sparkling smile. Some of the processes include:
- Teeth whitening
- Porcelain or ceramic veneers that are like a shell encasing imperfections
- Dental crowns and bridges to cover missing teeth
- Dental implants inserted into the jaw bone to replace missing teeth
Like the general dentist will tell you, cosmetic dentistry and restorative dentistry are closely linked. However, a dentist specializing in cosmetic procedures is concerned with more than just the proper functionality of your teeth. Aligning the entire dental structure, fixing the size, contour, and coloring of your teeth are all a part of cosmetic dentistry.
Further, a well-trained doctor will work with you to understand your objectives from the procedure and the changes in your looks that you’re expecting. Accordingly, you’ll receive a detailed course of treatment that may also include restoring the shape and size of the entire jaw bone. Cosmetic dentistry is also about repairing the appearance of your gums and lip tissues so that you have a perfect smile. These processes include defining just how much of your teeth should be visible when you smile. Every nuance of the dental structure is taken into consideration to give you a boost in confidence.
The procedures available at the general dental clinic also include restorative services. For instance,
- Treating tooth decay by removing the affected tooth and replacing it with fillings.
- Help with injuries that have resulted in missing, chipped, or broken teeth
- Antibiotics and other treatment for gum diseases and tooth pain
- Attaching veneers and crowns after removing the teeth affected by cavities and decay
- Removable dentures to fill gaps so you can eat and speak normally
- Root canal procedures to remove the entire tooth, if affected
- Dental implants
- Repairing the bone structure of the jaws so that they are perfectly aligned
Do keep in mind that misaligned teeth can often lead to seemingly unrelated problems like headaches and earaches. Some patients also experience tinnitus which seems like a constant ringing sound in their ears which is painful. Restorative dental services can help you with all these issues.
Counseling for Good Dental and All-Round Health
Several lifestyle choices can affect both your dental and all-round health and wellness. An important part of general dentistry is counseling. Your practitioner will spend time with you discussing factors like the importance of a healthy diet. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables keeps your teeth healthy while fortifying your body with vitamins and minerals for building immunity against diseases. You’ll also learn about the importance of restricting sodas, wines, and foods and beverages with artificial coloring. These colors can stain your teeth and cause yellowing and staining.
If you smoke, you’ll learn about the many harmful effects on not just your teeth, but also your gums. You’ll risk mouth cancer along with staining because of the lowered blood circulation. Loosened teeth and worn out enamel are only some of the other effects. Getting back a shining, white smile is a good excuse to quit the habit right away.
How to Choose a Great General Dentist
Your general dentist should be a professional who is well-trained in providing you all the services listed above. When looking around for a qualified oral practitioner, you’ll want to check for her credentials. General dentistry includes four years of study at an accredited dental school after three or four years of undergraduate education. Later, students go through testing, continued education, and licensing before they begin practicing dental medicine. Different schools award degrees like DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) or DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery).
Some doctors may acquire additional training in special spheres and not just in general dentistry. These specialties may include cosmetic dentistry, periodontist, orthodontist, oral and maxillofacial surgery, or any other. Many professionals keep their skills updated by attending continuing education courses. The additional training helps them stay up to date with the latest developments and techniques in their sphere. Since the field of general dentistry is constantly evolving, you’ll want to find someone who can advise you on the latest treatments available.
How Often Should You Schedule an Appointment
It is advisable to schedule an appointment at the general dental clinic in Calgary once in six months. You’ll come in for preventive services like cleaning and polishing. Of course, every patient has a unique dental structure, so you may have to come in as advised by the dentist. Of course, it’s never a good idea to wait to schedule an appointment until the time when you develop a problem. Prevention is a painless option and certainly, less expensive also.
If you aren’t quite happy with the overall appearance of your teeth, you can schedule an appointment for cosmetic or restorative services. Any problems with biting, chewing, and speaking, or toothache can also indicate that you need dental care. Patients who choose to go for treatments may have to come in for appointments as scheduled by the practitioner.
Looking for a great general dental clinic in Calgary? Stop by at Southcentre Dental and ask to speak with Dr. Jennifer Silver. Spend some time talking about your oral care routine and the precautions you should be taking for overall health and wellness. She’ll advise you on the best steps to take and the appointments you’ll need. If you would like to schedule a visit, we welcome queries at this number: (403) 278-1415. You can also put down your contact information on our Contact Us page and we’ll get back to you with responses.
Dr. Jennifer Silver is a highly accomplished dental surgeon with a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Melbourne, Australia. Her educational accomplishments include deans honours list, an oral surgery award and best research project. Prior to this degree, she graduated with honors from Dalhousie University’s Dental Hygiene Program and worked in this field for 10 years.
The areas of dentistry that holds special interest for Dr. Silver include oral medicine and whole-body dentistry. She currently devotes time and resources toward helping patients with TMJ pain and sleep apnea, while continuing to provide general dentistry as well. Future interests include devoting time to additional oral surgery training. Jen strives to treat her patients as if they were family. She strongly believes in a multi-disciplinary approach for patient care. She is part of a large network of specialists that she trusts and collaborates with when helping patients.