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General Dentist Services In Billings Montana

General Dentist Services In Billings Montana

A general dentist is a primary care provider for the teeth, gums and mouth. A dentist’s main focus is assessing each patient’s oral health, diagnosing any issues, providing treatment recommendations and performing necessary procedures.

In 2014, The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that there are currently 151,000 general dentists in the US. Some dentists work in a practice with partners while 1 in 4 dentists are self-employed. A number of dentists specialize in a certain subset of dentistry, like orthodontics or periodontology, for example. These specialists are a much smaller percentage of the industry. For example, the American Association of Dentistry has more than 158,000 members while the American Association of Orthodontists has 13,500 members.

Dentists typically complete a bachelor’s degree and then attend a 4-year dental school program. After graduation, dentists must become licensed in their state through written and practical exams.

General dentists take care of all the basics. Typical services include

  • Preventative care: This might include removing plaque from teeth to prevent cavities.
  • Cleaning and polishing teeth: Dentists and their hygienists use special tools called scalers that are designed to scrape away tartar.
  • Fillings: Dentists restore a tooth that has been damaged by filling in the decayed area with gold, porcelain, resin or amalgam.
  • X-Rays: Dental x-rays allow dentists to detect cavities, impacted teeth, abscesses, cysts, tumors and bone abnormalities.
  • Extractions: While dentists are usually trying to save teeth, sometimes they need to remove them due to severe decay, infection or gum disease.
  • Implants: Implants are prosthetic teeth that sit on titanium posts surgically placed in the jaw bone. They are used to replaced missing teeth.
  • Bridges: Dental bridges are implants supported by two or more surrounding natural anchor teeth.
  • Sealants: Sealants are thin plastic coatings that are painted on the surface of a tooth to form a protective layer that prevents decay.
  • Repairs: When teeth become fractured due to accident or injury, your dentist can repair them with resin or smooth cracks by sanding or shaving down the tooth.

When a general dentist encounters an issue beyond his or her scope of practice, they will refer their patient to specialists. Common instances of this include dentists referring patients to an orthodontist to correct crooked teeth or a prosthodontist to deal with missing teeth or dentures.

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