What is a general dentist?

For many Americans, the healthcare provider they see most frequently is their general dentist. When most people think of a trip to the dentist, they think of cleanings, fillings, and maybe (but hopefully not!) root canals. However, there is a lot more to dentistry than just these basic procedures.

A set of dental tools in the office of a general dentist

The American Dental Association defines general dentistry as,

“The evaluation, diagnosis, prevention, [and] treatment (nonsurgical, surgical or related procedures) of diseases, disorders [and] conditions of the oral cavity, maxillofacial area [and] the adjacent and associated structures and their impact on the human body; provided by a dentist, within the scope of [their] education, training and experience, in accordance with the ethics of the profession and applicable law.” (1)

Wow, that’s a lot. Okay, let’s unpack this definition a bit by breaking it into two parts. First,

“…evaluation, diagnosis, prevention, [and] treatment (nonsurgical, surgical or related procedures) of diseases, disorders and/or conditions of the oral cavity, maxillofacial area [and] the adjacent and associated structures and their impact on the human body…” (1)

The first part is pretty straightforward – a dentist evaluates and treats ailments of the oral cavity (the mouth) and the maxillofacial area (the jaw and face). Now it gets a little more interesting with the associated structures. What structures are associated with the face mouth, jaw and face, and their impact on the human body? Well, really they all are. The mouth is the gateway to the body – when something goes wrong there, problems begin to mount everywhere. This is why Dr. Abeyta takes a holistic approach to dentistry, recognizing the interconnected nature of all the body’s systems, and the influence they have on one another.

Check back soon for How to choose a general dentist – what to look for and more, part 2. In the meantime, check out our page to learn more about Dr. Abeyta’s qualifications and approach to general dentistry.

Source cited:

https://www.ada.org/en/education-careers/careers-in-dentistry/general-dentistry