What Is the Difference Between a Dentist and a General Dentist?

What Is the Difference Between a Dentist and a General Dentist?

April 1, 2023

The difference between dentists and general dentists is as minute as the difference between chalk and cheese. Depending upon their area of specialization, dentists may decide to practice as general dentists, pediatric dentists, orthodontists, Endodontists, and periodontists, besides oral and maxillofacial surgeons, and acquire licensing in line with their specific qualifications. However, the profession remains similar as the professionals are dedicated to providing dental care to patients approaching them with dental issues.

The difference between general dentists and others working similarly but defers primarily on their area of specialization, with most receiving basic education in a dental school for four years to acquire their certification.

General dentists prefer to practice soon after completing four years of dental school without dedicating time to additional training or specialization and start treating all patients regardless of age to provide various treatments. On the other hand, dentists acquiring further education and training for another two or three years specialize in specific fields of dentistry, treating unique cases that general dentists also treat.

Who Should You Consider Visiting for Your Dental Needs?

Your specific needs determine whether you can visit a general dentist or another dental professional when you consider scheduling an appointment with any professional. For example, if you need routine dental exams and cleanings, visiting the family dentist near you proves more beneficial than going to a professional specializing in orthodontics or periodontics. In addition, dentists specializing in different fields have a queue of patients waiting to assess themselves with unique problems. Therefore dentists specializing in individual fields will likely not entertain your visit, preferring to work on their area of specialization.

If you visit the dentist near you practicing general dentistry, you can expect to receive any treatment you might need, whether it is a routine exam and cleaning, tooth restorations by filling cavities in your teeth, cosmetic dentistry procedures like teeth whitening and dental veneers or even advanced treatments like dental implants and root canals because general dentists receive training on all courses during their time in dental school. However, for reasons best known to the individual professional, they begin practicing immediately after graduating from dental school without investing in specializations starting earlier than dentists.

How Do Specialists Differ from General Dentists?

Specialists in dentistry qualifying in different fields differ because they invest time and money in acquiring additional education in specific areas of dentistry. They also have a limited number of patients, although the overall patient quantity is large, leaving the specialists with little time to manage general dentistry issues.

If you need a root canal to eliminate a severe infection in your tooth, you find it beneficial to receive the treatment from an endodontist than a general dentist because they specialize in treating conditions inside the tooth instead of the exterior. General dentists also perform root canals on many patients at an average of two procedures every week. On the other hand, endodontists perform a couple of root canals daily; some even complete 25 root canals a week. In addition, root canals performed by endodontists have a higher success rate than by general dentists. In many cases, your general dentist may suggest you see an endodontist if you need this unique treatment on a molar that is challenging to treat because it has multiple canals.

Many dentists also specialize as pedodontists specializing in treating children’s teeth. They are known as pediatric dentists and deal exclusively with children from infancy until adolescence. Therefore even while having information on treating cavities or cleaning teeth, a pediatric dentist isn’t likely to treat every patient approaching them with a dental problem. On the contrary, they are willing to treat complex issues with children’s teeth to ensure their oral health develops into a beautiful smile during adulthood.

Similarly, periodontists specialize in treating problems with the gums, replacing missing teeth, et cetera, and remain dedicated to their specialty without entertaining other patients. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons focus on treatments you may need to change your jaw shape or perform other surgical procedures that a general dentist recommends.

Choosing between a Dentist and a General Dentist

A general dentist is your first point of contact when affected by any dental situation. As the specialists will not entertain you for lack of time, it helps if you see the dentist in Minneapolis to determine what is wrong with your teeth or oral health. In most cases, you will likely receive the treatment you need from the general dentist. However, if you have a complicated situation better managed by a specialist, you will also receive a referral to a specialist to ensure you receive specialized treatment from dentistry.

Differences don’t exist between dentists and general dentists besides their education and additional training. However, if you are confused between the two, kindly visit Holger Dental Group — Minneapolis to clarify your thoughts and decide which dental professional best suits your needs.

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