General dentistry is the art and science of fixing damaged teeth and diseased gums. General dentistry includes dental procedures like fixing tooth cavities, treating infected gums, and removing infections from the oral cavity. Going to a dentist regularly is a must in this day and age. We're living longer than ever before. Unfortunately, we're also consuming more processed sugars than ever before. Many of us grind our teeth due to the daily stress of life. As a result, our teeth crack and break. We develop tooth cavities and oral infections. Our gums recede and we develop gum disease. General dentistry aims to reverse these damages and keep your teeth and gums in a healthy and happy state. With the help of your dentist, you can maintain strong teeth and healthy gums for life. The sooner you establish a relationship with a trusted, local dentist, the fewer dental problems you will face in old age.
General dentistry refers to a wide variety of dental treatments. Common general dentistry procedures include tooth fillings, crowns, root canal therapy, and even tooth extractions. Here's a bit more information about each one of these common general dentistry procedures:
Just about all of us will have a few dental fillings in our mouths by the time we're old. Fillings are used to fix small to medium-sized cavities, small cracks, and other minor dental defects. By regularly visiting your dentist, you can capture dental problems in their early stages when they can be fixed with a filling. To learn more about dental fillings and the different types of fillings available, click here. Unfortunately, once cavities become too large, a simple filling is not likely to solve the problem. Let's look at more advanced denatl treatments required for more advanced dental issues.
Crowns are another common general dentistry procedure with lots of implications in dentistry. You need a crown when your tooth is too far damaged to be saved with a simple filling. Placing a crown on the tooth helps restore the teeth to their original shape. This is the ideal treatment for teeth with large cracks or large cavities. Crowns protect your teeth from breaking more and developing an infection. To learn more about crowns and how they restore your damaged teeth, click here.
Root Canal Therapy
When cavity bugs infiltrate the tooth nerve, you develop a tooth infection. At this point, it's too late to fix your tooth with a simple filling or even with a crown. Your only option to save an infected tooth is to perform a root canal treatment. Root canal therapy removes the infection from your tooth and at the same time, saves the infected tooth. To learn more about root canal treatment and how it can eliminate your tooth infection, click here.
If a bad tooth is left untreated, you will eventually lose the tooth. Losing one tooth can lead to the loss of more teeth in the future. This is why dentists always recommend that you try to save your tooth whenever possible. When it's not possible to save the tooth any longer, you need to remove the tooth and replace it with a dental implant or bridge. Missing teeth create large gaps in your mouth that lead to a series of problems that affect the entire mouth. Not only do you now have one less tooth to chew on, but you have to over-compensate by placing additional pressure on the remaining teeth. This leads to biting problems, increases the likelihood of tooth fracture, stresses your TMJ, and leads to other dental and skeletal problems. To learn more about tooth extraction and when it's best to have your teeth removed, click here.
Good Oral Hygiene
There is no substitute for good brushing and flossing habits. Brushing and flossing your teeth on a daily basis goes a long way in protecting your teeth and gums. It's just as important to brush and floss regularly as it is to do it correctly. Be sure that you're not brushing or flossing too quickly or using too much force. Take your time to clean your teeth and don't rush through it. If you have gum disease, you may have to use special hygiene instruments like a Waterpik, interproximal cleaner, medicated mouthwash, or special oral pastes recommended by your dentist. Talk to your dentist if you are uncertain about your oral hygiene routine or if you need advice on how to improve your oral hygiene techniques.
Healthy Diet & Lifestyle
- Processed sugars are the main cause of dental cavities and a major precursor for gum disease. Limit your sugary intake, especially processed sugars found in candies, chocolates, and sodas.
- Smoking is very detrimental to your oral health. It's best to avoid all tobacco products including chewing tobacco and vaping. Tobacco decreases blood flow to the mouth and damages your teeth and gums.
- A healthy body and mind go a long way in maintaining your oral health. Heart conditions, uncontrolled diabetes, acid reflux, and many other major medical problems can directly impact our oral health. A healthy body oftentimes correlates with a healthy mouth and vice versa.
Regular Checkups & Cleanings
Paying regular visits to your dentist helps maintain healthy teeth and gums. It also helps capture dental problems in their early stages. The sooner you treat a dental problem, the less time and money you will have to spend fixing it. For instance, a small cavity can usually be fixed with a filling. However, if you neglect to fix the cavity, it continues to grow and eventually requires a crown. From there, the cavity enters the tooth nerve causing pain and infection. Now your tooth requires a root canal treatment. You may even have to remove the tooth and replace it with a dental implant. As you can see, the sooner you address essential dental problems, the easier it is to fix them. This explains why regular dental checkups and cleanings are so beneficial to your oral health.
Holistic dentistry, also known as biological dentistry, is an approach to dental care with a focus on the overall well-being of the body. Holistic dentistry involves minimizing the use of metals, mercury, and other dangerous toxins in the mouth. This brand of dentistry is a great option for those suffering from metal allergies, fibromyalgia, and other autoimmune conditions. Those who haven't fared well with traditional non-holistic dentistry may also want to explore a more holistic approach. Let's take a closer look at some ideas that create the cornerstone of holistic dentistry:
Metal-Free Tooth Fillings
Traditional silver fillings, known as Amalgam, contain mercury which is a known toxin. While there is no concrete proof that mercury inside silver fillings causes any medical conditions, many believe that it's best to avoid silver fillings altogether. Metal-free dental fillings are made from resins and composites that do not contain heavy metals or mercury. Holistic dental fillings are both safe and effective, plus they look much better than their silver counterpart!
Metal-Free Crowns & Bridges
Traditional dental crowns, known as porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns (PFM), contain porcelain on the outside with metal on the inside. The inner metal layer is necessary to provide strength and support for chewing pressure since porcelain alone is too weak to withstand bite forces. However, the metal alloy may cause allergic reactions in some patients. Others are against the heavy use of metals inside of your body. Holistic dentistry firmly believes that these types of metals are not good for your health. Metal-free crowns are made from zirconia-based ceramic. Zirconia contains no traditional metals and it is superior to PFM crowns in terms of strength, function, and aesthetics.
Ceramic Dental Implants
Some holistic dentists even offer metal-free dental implants. Now you can now replace your missing teeth with 100% metal-free zirconia dental implants. Metal-free implants are made entirely from zirconia with no traditional metal alloys. Your entire implant, including the implant post, abutment, and implant crown, is made from zirconia. Note that due to limited production, metal-free dental implants come at a premium price. However, for those who are seeking holistic dental care, ceramic dental implants are definitely worth the price.