What is general dentistry?

General dentistry covers the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of oral health conditions. This means that general dentists are responsible for your routine checkups, examinations, cleanings, and restorations. They develop customized dental hygiene plans for their patients, which include things like teeth cleaning, tooth scaling, and x-rays.

Disease prevention is an important part of general dentistry. Diagnostic equipment and regular checkups allow general dentists to detect and treat problems as early as possible. However, you may be referred to a specialist depending on the condition of your mouth.

How do general dentists differ from specialists?

General dentists provide a wide range of treatments and procedures. Specialists, on the other hand, focus on a specific area of dentistry. As a result, specialists bring a higher level of knowledge, expertise, and skill to certain oral issues that fall within their specialties.

What qualifications do general dentists have?

All general dentists complete an undergraduate education, followed by four years at an accredited dental school. Many dentists also undergo special training in particular areas.

General Dentistry Services


Here are some of the most common general dentistry treatments:

Dental exams

Teeth cleanings


Oral cancer screenings

Cavity fillings

Inlays and onlays

Fluoride treatment

Tooth sealants


Gingivitis treatment

Orthodontics (braces and clear aligners)

Custom mouthguards


Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) treatment

Root canal treatment

Sleep apnea treatment

Teeth whitening

Porcelain veneers

Wisdom tooth removal

Tooth extractions

Preventative Services

Preventing tooth decay and disease is a core responsibility of general dentists. This is achieved through regular exams, diagnostic X-rays, and professional teeth cleanings. Your general dentist will also screen you for oral cancer and may offer tooth sealants or fluoride treatments.

Without a doubt, your at-home dental hygiene regime plays a determining role in your oral health. As a result, general dentists also recommend ways to improve your dental habits at home, helping to keep your mouth happy and your smile bright.

For those who play sports or live an active lifestyle, prevention can also take the form of mouthguards. Custom mouthguards provided by your dentist are crucial for preventing tooth damage from sports.

Restoration Services

Restoration services include anything that restores the look and function of your teeth after damage, decay, or disease. One of the most common types of tooth restorations is cavity fillings. If your dentist finds tooth decay during one of your appointments, it has to be removed and a filling applied to the affected tooth.

Dental crowns (caps that fit over damaged or missing teeth), dental implants, and inlays and onlays (a type of dental filling) are other forms of restoration services designed to treat missing or damaged teeth. Additionally, some dentists also provide treatments like bridgework, orthodontics (braces and clear aligners), and denture fittings.

Cosmetic Services

The aim of cosmetic dentistry is to improve the appearance of your smile. A sparkling white smile has a huge impact on your confidence, and your dentist can help you achieve this. General dentists offer a range of cosmetic procedures such as teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, and cosmetic bonding.

Over-the-counter teeth-whitening kits rarely deliver the desired results, and can damage your teeth in the process. As a result, you should always opt for professional teeth whitening provided by your general dentist.

Minor Oral Surgeries

General dentists can perform minor oral surgeries. For example, you can receive a wisdom tooth removal or tooth extraction without having to visit a specialist. A general dentist can also provide root canal therapy, where the infected or inflamed soft tissue is removed from the inside of a tooth.

Children’s Dentistry

General dentists tend to focus on permanent teeth but can still provide dental care to children. Teeth cleanings, sealants, cavity fillings, and tooth removal can all be taken care of by a general dentist.

Pediatric dentists are a type of specialist and have an additional two years of training focusing exclusively on children’s dental care.

How often should you see a general dentist?

It’s important to visit your general dentist at least every six months for a cleaning and examination. After all, regular dental checkups are an essential part of disease prevention. Many oral health conditions do not cause pain until they have already become severe.

Consequently, waiting until you already have a toothache to visit your dentist is never good. If you do have a toothache or notice something unusual, contact your dentist right away.

Depending on your oral health, your dentist may recommend more frequent visits, such as every three months instead of twice a year. You should always follow the schedule of preventative treatment recommended by your dentist.

General Dentistry in Bloor West

Bloor West Smiles provides a wide range of general dentistry services to patients located in Bloor West. For example, we offer preventative, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry as well as children’s and senior’s dentistry.

Additionally, you can visit us for more advanced treatments such as wisdom tooth extraction, root canal therapy, and orthodontics. No matter your age, Bloor West Smiles is here to help you maintain your oral health.

Contact us today to make an appointment. Remember, visiting your dentist twice a year (or every six months) is an essential part of caring for your oral health and your smile! 

Take care