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What procedures does a general dentist do?

general dentistry

General dentists are also known as clinical or general practice dentists. They do not specialize in any particular field like endodontics, periodontics, or orthodontics. They provide a wide range of services for patients, from diagnosing and treating standard dental problems to helping people with special needs. As a general dentist, you can expect to perform a broad range of procedures on day-to-day patients. You’ll analyze their teeth and gums and give them advice on how to keep their pearly whites healthy. Here’s what you need to know about practising general dentistry that sounds like the right career path for you.

What does a general dentist do?

A general dentist is responsible for diagnosing, treating and managing dental health for patients of all ages, from children to the elderly. General dentistry provide a range of services, from simple teeth cleanings to root canals. Some of the procedures that general dentists do include.

Teeth Cleaning: A teeth cleaning is the first thing a general dentist does with every new patient. It’s the best way to prevent cavities and gum disease.

Fillings: When a tooth has decay so bad that it could lead to a root canal, It usually fill the tooth with a material.

Root Canals: A root canal happens when bacteria from a tooth travels through the blood stream and infects the surrounding tissue.

Periodontal Surgery: This surgery is usually needed when gum disease has destroyed the bone around teeth, making it impossible to preserve them.

Dental Extractions: When a tooth is too decayed or broken to save, a general dentist will recommend pulling it.

Orthodontic Treatment: It can provide early orthodontic treatment to correct crowded teeth in kids.

Permanent Dentures: These dentures are used after a patient has lost all their teeth.

Dental Implants vs Dentures
Complete Dentures

Mouth Guards: A mouth guard is a protective device placed in the mouth to help prevent sports-related injuries to the teeth.

Dental Services for Special Needs Patients: Dentists often help patients with special needs because they are trained to provide dental care for people with limited mobility.

How to become a General Dentist | Dentistry

Becoming a general dentist requires a rigorous course of study. After graduating from high school, students can enroll in a two-year associate’s degree program or a four-year bachelor’s degree program at a dental school. Most accredited dental schools require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in any subject.

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Mouth Examination

However, it is possible to earn a degree in dental hygiene and then apply to dental school as a part-time student. After completing a dental degree program, graduates must complete a residency program before they can become a general dentist.

Dentistry requirements for a Dentist

It required to obtain a state-issued dental license before they can practice. To obtain a license, students must:

  • Graduate from an accredited dental school
  • Complete a dental residency program
  • Pass the National Board Dental Examination
  • Pass a state board examination in the state where they plan to practice

To become a general dentist, you’ll need to complete a dental degree at an accredited dental school. It’s important to note that you don’t have to become an orthodontist to earn a six-figure salary. According to the American Association of Endodontists, the median salary for a general dentist is $168,000. Orthodontists, on the other hand, make a median salary of $232,000.

Salary and career prospects for general dentists

They are among the highest paid professionals in the dental field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that general dentists earned a median salary of $168,000 in 2016. The top 10% of earners made over $211,000. As the population ages, dentists will be higher demand as people seek out preventive dental care and treatment. The field of general dentistry offers a variety of career paths.

The basic expectations from a general dentist are visual inspections and evaluation of teeth and gum health, teeth and gums X-rays, Sleep apnea treatment, Tooth sealants, minor dental procedures like cavity removal, root canals, dental crowns, and cleaning.


All in all, becoming a general dentist is a worthwhile goal. It’s a challenging and rewarding career with excellent earning potential. We hope this article has answered all your questions about what a general dentist does, and how to become a general dentist. You will have your patients’ teeth in mint condition in no time!

Decayed Teeth Filling

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