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Dentistry Information:

Dentistry is a division of medicine involving the study, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of oral diseases, and the maintenance of oral health.

Yearly check-ups with a dentist are recommended for optimal oral health care. During check-ups, dentists will assess the state of oral health by checking for cavities or abnormalities and diseases in the teeth and mouth. Other procedures include tooth brushing, filling cavities, and in some cases, oral surgery.

Dentist Frequently Asked Questions

What Conditions does a Dentist Treat?

Dentists diagnose and treat problems with teeth and tissues in the mouth, and help to prevent future problems. Your dentist may give you instructions on proper diet, brushing, flossing, the use of fluorides, and other elements of caring for your teeth. During a visit they may remove tooth decay, examine x rays, fill cavities, straighten teeth, or repair a fractured or chipped tooth. A dentist can also replace missing teeth using dentures, administer anesthetics, and write prescriptions for necessary medications.

What Procedures do Dentists Perform?

Once properly diagnosed, dentists can perform dental extractions, dental implants, dental restoration, inlays, onlays, fillings, root canal, crowns, bridges, plaque removal, veneers, debridement, preventative home care education, and fluoride treatment.

When Should I See a Dentist?

Your dentist will decide how often you need to visit after evaluating the condition of your mouth, teeth and gums. Most dentists will recommend coming in for a check-up every six months. Keeping a regular schedule for exams and cleanings allows the dentist to keep track of developing problems. They will check the gums for periodontal disease development and possibly take x-rays to find and treat any cavities.

What Should I Consider When Choosing a Dentist?

When selecting a local dentist, here are a few questions to ask:

  • Does your office accept my insurance?
  • Are you Board Certified?
  • Are you a member of the ADA (American Dental Association)?
  • Does the dentist specialize in any specific area?
  • If I notice a problem, how quickly can I get an appointment?
  • Do you offer evening or weekend hours?
  • Will I be seeing you or an assistant when I visit?
  • Do you have patient references available?
  • How often do I need to visit the dentist?
  • Do you incorporate laser technology?
  • Do you use advanced technology for oral cancer detection?

Finding a Dentist

Start your search right here on ThirdAge.com. Find local dentists near you, read reviews from other users, view ratings, or compare other important information. You can also ask friends, colleagues, or other people you know for a recommendation. You may also call your state's board to see if the dentist is licensed or has any complaints against them, or visit the ADA's website to see if the dentist is a member.