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    General Dentistry


    All PPO Insurance Accepted


    Free Dental Exams & X-Rays


    Financing Available

    A general dentist is the first person you speak to when seeking dental care, treatment, or advice. All dentists start as general dentists. While some go for further studies to specialize in more advanced areas of dentistry, others remain in general dentistry to diagnose, manage, and treat various types of oral health issues. General dentistry offers much to patients seeking good oral health and improved well-being. They have knowledge and experience in multiple areas of dentistry to diagnose, treat, and even refer dental patients requiring specialized care.

    Our general dentistry services at The Lakewood Dentist are always available to help you enjoy better oral health. Our dentists recommend regular visits to the dentist’s office in Lakewood, CA, for general checkups, dental cleanings, diagnosis, and treatment of oral health problems you could have. Our services include preventive healthcare to ensure you experience minimal oral issues that could impact your oral health and general well-being. 

    What General Dentistry Entails

    General dentistry is a field of dentistry that deals with the diagnosis, evaluation, treatment, and prevention of health issues and disorders affecting the oral cavity, associated structures, and adjacent areas and the impact those diseases and conditions have on the body. General dentists are trained and equipped to provide general services according to their training level, experience, and the code of conduct provided by the law.

    For patients who regularly visit a dentist’s office, a general dentist will customize a dental care plan to include all the necessary services to diagnose, treat, and prevent oral health issues and disorders. The plan will consist of such services as oral and dental exams, x-rays and other diagnostic procedures, tooth scaling, teeth cleaning, and other procedures deemed necessary on an individual basis. The aim is to uncover oral health issues in their developing stages, treat them early enough, and prevent the recurrence of these issues or the emergence of fresh problems.

    General dentistry offers a wide range of services, which appear in four main categories. They include:

    Preventive Services

    These are crucial services to help you enjoy excellent oral health. Preventive services stop diseases and infections before they develop, spread, and impact your mouth, teeth, and underlying structures. Preventive services provided by a general dentist include regular physical exams, x-ray exams, and teeth cleaning services.

    Additionally, your general dentist will give you tips on how you can improve or maintain good oral hygiene, for example, flossing and brushing your teeth daily. They could also suggest preventive measures to protect your teeth from cavities and damage, for example, using dental sealants or wearing mouthguards when playing specific sports.

    Restorative Services

    General dentistry also entails dental restoration in cases where you have encountered an issue that has affected your teeth, gums, jawbone, or other underlying structures. General dentists offer dental restorative services to keep you enjoying solid and beautiful teeth and gums, for example, removing the decayed part of a tooth and covering the cavity with a filling to restore the look and functionality of the affected tooth. Other restorative procedures performed by general dentists include gum disease treatment, dental crowns and bridges, treatment of dental trauma, the installation of dental implants, oral canal therapy, and orthodontic services.

    Cosmetic Dentistry Services

    Besides treating oral issues and restoring damaged teeth and gums, general dentists offer cosmetic dentistry services to improve your look and feel. These are services for people seeking to improve their smile and overall appearance. If how your teeth look affects your confidence and smile, a general dentist will recommend a series of cosmetic treatments according to your needs.

    Some services you can enjoy under cosmetic dentistry include cosmetic bonding, lumineers, Invisalign, veneers, and whitening services. You can always speak to your dentist to brighten your smile.

    General Healthcare Services

    Your oral health is as vital as your general well-being. If your oral health is impacted, it could affect your general health. Some dental health conditions exist that affect your general health. For example, oral infections can spread to the rest of the body through the bloodstream. An untreated oral infection can cause complications even in pregnancy, make it difficult to manage diabetes, and increase your risk for cardiovascular diseases.

    General dentists can identify some issues that can impact your overall health and suggest the best possible treatment approach. They can also offer advice and recommendations on how you can prevent some problems that can affect your overall well-being, including smoking. With the help of a general dentist, you can maintain good oral health for a quality life.

    Common Procedures General Dentists Use to Offer These Services

    General dentists perform specific procedures when offering the services above. These services include the following:

    Regular Examination

    Dentists recommend regular visits to a dental office for general checkups and professional teeth cleaning. The first thing your dentist does during these visits is to check the condition of your teeth, gums, and underlying structures. They aim to rule out any disease or symptom that could result in an oral or health issue.

    Your dentists will first examine your teeth to look out for cavities, your bite, and the strength and health of your teeth. They will then thoroughly examine your gums for signs of gingivitis or gum disease. They will then examine your jawbone to determine its condition. All this while, the dentist will ask you questions regarding your teeth, gums, and jawbone.

    The dentist will also ask you to undergo an X-ray exam to check the condition of your teeth’s underlying structures.

    If they discover an oral issue in its onset stages, the dentist will quickly discuss a treatment plan with you to treat and stop the problem before it escalates and becomes more complex and expensive to treat.

    During dental exams, the dentist will discuss your daily habits for keeping your teeth clean. If they notice an area that requires improvement, the dentist will discuss more practices to improve your oral health. Everyone needs regular dental examinations. But if you belong to any of the following categories, you must make your visits to the general dentist more regular:

    If you are visiting your dentist for the first time, it is necessary to ensure they have all the information you need regarding your oral health and overall well-being. For example, discuss with them some of the changes or issues you have been experiencing to make diagnosis easier. Some of the information you should not leave out includes the following:

    Your Medical Account

    The dentist needs to know about the diseases you have been diagnosed with. Thus, discuss all your health concerns with them, even those that do not affect your oral and dental health. For example, if you are receiving diabetes treatment, the dentist must know so they can take precautions when devising a treatment plan for your dental problem. Your medical account will also help them determine the proper anesthesia during treatment procedures.

    Bring with you all the medicine you are taking and its dosage. Some of the oral issues you are experiencing could be a result of the medications you take. Knowing the drugs you are taking will also guide your dentists in prescribing medications that will not cause interactions.

    Your Dental Health

    You do not need a dental or oral issue to visit a dentist’s office. However, discuss any problems you have been experiencing in your mouth, with your teeth, gums, or jawbone, with your dentist during these visits. For example, if you have been experiencing bumps or lumps on your gums, your teeth are sensitive, or something is hurting inside your mouth, disclose it on your visit. Explaining how you feel or how you have been feeling lately helps the dentist make a timely diagnosis.

    Your Fears

    Many people have an unexplained fear of visiting a dentist’s office. Your dentist must know about your fears beforehand, so they can take the necessary precautions to make your experience as comfortable as possible. For example, if your greatest fear is pain, general dentists have many pain management solutions to explore. When you are satisfied, you can sit through a procedure with minimal issues, allowing the dentist to work on the issue you are experiencing.

    What Happens During a General Dental Checkup?

    If you have yet to visit your dentist regularly, as you should, it could be time to make that appointment. A general dentist will ensure that your mouth, teeth, gums, and jawbone are healthy and functioning as they should. They provide preventive measures you can use at home to prevent some of the most dangerous oral health issues, like periodontitis. They also treat problems in their onset stages to avoid complications and the cost implications if oral matters are left to escalate. Here are some of the services you can expect to receive during your appointment:

    Professional Dental Checkup

    A regular dental checkup by a professional dentist ensures that everything in your mouth and surrounding structures works as it should. Your dentist will check all areas in your mouth, teeth, and gums to ensure you are healthy. They will start with a detailed physical exam before using other diagnostic tools like X-rays to check the condition of the underlying structures. A general dentist could accompany an oral hygienist during a professional dental checkup. The hygienist’s work is not to diagnose but to document anything unusual with your teeth, gums, or jawbone. They could also recommend dental care routines and medicines that could improve the health of your teeth and gums.

    Professional Teeth Cleaning

    Teeth cleanings are usually part of a general dental checkup. It is advisable to have your teeth professionally cleaned at least twice a year to remove tartar and any other buildup that could result in cavities and other infections. Your dentist will thoroughly clean your teeth and gums during this visit. They will pay more attention to teeth with buildup or cavities. Daily flossing and brushing of teeth are insufficient to keep your teeth clean and safe from cavities and buildups. Some parts of your teeth are difficult to reach. The brush alone is not able to remove buildup. That is why professional cleaning is recommended to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy.

    Teeth Polishing

    Your dentist can polish your teeth after professional cleaning to smooth them out and ensure they feel comfortable in your mouth. Buildup affects the texture and appearance of your teeth. Cleaning removes buildup but does not leave your teeth as smooth as they should. Your dentist will use an abrasive material and a fluoride-based polish to smooth out your teeth and make them feel as natural as possible.

    Gum Disease and Cavity Prevention

    Gum disease and cavities are the greatest threats to the health of your teeth and gums. Preventing these will be part of your dentist’s routine during your regular checkup. General dentists use different strategies to fight gum disease and cavities, and preventive measures are the most common of these strategies. Your dentist will give you instructions at home to prevent cavities and gum disease. For example, brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing at least once. You must also use a fluoride-based toothpaste and a quality toothbrush to achieve the best results. Your goal must be to remove all stuck food particles from your teeth after every meal.

    X-Ray and Other Diagnostic Strategies

    Your dentist must check your teeth’s underlying structures to determine how healthy they are. A physical exam will only give them a view of your teeth and gums. But they can use diagnostic tools like X-rays to peek at the area below your teeth and gums. X-rays are also valuable for checking the health and condition of the jawbone. Thus, your dentist can send you to the lab after a physical exam to have an X-ray taken.

    Treatment Recommendations

    After thoroughly examining your teeth, gums, jawbone, and underlying structures, your dentist will write a treatment recommendation based on their findings. If you are in good oral health, the dentist’s advice will not include treatment. But they could recommend a few self-care tips you can use at home to maintain good oral health. But if your dentist has some concerns about your oral health, they could recommend treatment that could improve your oral health and overall well-being.

    If the dentist notices a problem that requires specialized care or treatment, they could refer you to a specialist for further diagnosis and treatment.

    Screening for Oral Cancer

    General dentists must screen their patients for oral cancer during regular dental checkups. Cancer is a severe illness that affects your oral health and general well-being. But, it is preventable and can effectively be treated in the onset stages. Early screening enables dentists to identify early symptoms and develop a treatment plan that will manage those symptoms and deal with the disease for good. It also saves you time and money since it is easier and less costly to treat cancer in its early stages than at its full-blown stage.

    The screening process involves looking for signs of the disease and a precancerous condition in the mouth. The dentist will do that every time you visit their office to capture the disease early and increase your chances of receiving adequate treatment.

    Though cancer screening is mainly recommended for people at a higher risk of acquiring it, everyone can benefit from early screening and diagnosis. You could have a higher risk of developing oral cancer if you:

    How Dentists Perform Oral Screening for Cancer

    Cancer screening is not as extensive and invasive as many people expect. The signs and symptoms of oral cancer appear in areas the dentist can easily see through a physical exam. Thus, the screening process is simple and quick. A comprehensive screening can take a few minutes. In those minutes, the dentist will check areas they will not have inspected during the general dental exam, including the throat, larynx, pharynx, and sinuses. The focus is mainly on areas around your oral cavity and their connective tissues.

    Typically, general dentists conduct two kinds of examinations for oral cancer screening:

    Visual Examination

    It involves looking at the areas likely to be affected by oral cancer for signs of the disease or other changes that put you at risk of developing cancer. Your dentist could require you to remove your dentures or other removable dental appliances to give them a complete view of your mouth. Some of the indications of oral cancer the dentist will be looking for include ulcerations, bumps, swellings, and asymmetries. Generally, they will look for any abnormality that could indicate a problem like cancer.

    Your dentist could also use a mirror and light to see the hard-to-reach areas in the mouth. A tongue depressor could also help them keep their tongue in place as they examine the back of the mouth and down the throat. Sticking your tongue out also helps them see some of the hard-to-see areas.

    Physical Examination

    Looking at some of these areas is not enough to give an accurate diagnosis of oral cancer. Your dentist needs to conduct further examinations to provide a precise diagnosis. A physical exam goes beyond observing and looking for signs and symptoms of cancer. It includes touching some areas for unevenness, bumps, and sometimes pain. Your dentist will touch your face, mouth, neck, and other places around your mouth for unusual nodules or masses. Dentists use physical exams during cancer screening to look for abnormalities that could indicate cancer development.

    Most cancer signs are painful, but some are painless in the developing state. That is why regular screening for cancer is recommended since some diseases are diagnosed when they are already full-blown.

    If your dentists find some abnormalities that appear like cancer symptoms, they will refer you for specialized diagnosis and care. You must undergo further tests to rule out other diseases. However, being referred to a specialist does not automatically mean that you have oral cancer. A general dentist conducts referrals to allow for further investigation into the causes of the abnormalities they have found during routine checkups.

    If the dentist does not find any cancer indications, they will give you an appointment for your next visit, when they can conduct an exam again. Remember that this is crucial since it is easy, more effective, and less costly to treat cancer and other oral issues in their early stages.

    Dental Sealing

    Dental sealing is another crucial service in general dentistry. It involves sealing the natural teeth to prevent exposure to dangerous elements that cause cavities. Dentists use a special thin sealant made from plastic film to coat the chewing part of your teeth (especially the molars and premolars). The coat protects the natural teeth from cavities as it is a physical barrier against cavity-causing elements. Food particles and dangerous bacteria cannot penetrate a sealed tooth.

    The dental sealing process is very straightforward. The dentist starts by cleaning your teeth’s surfaces to prepare them for sealing. They apply the sealant to the chewing part of each tooth carefully, making sure to coat well without leaving spaces through which food particles and bacteria can penetrate the tooth.

    Find a Skilled General Dentist Near Me

    You need a general dentist to keep your mouth and teeth healthy and functional. General dentists offer a wide range of services aimed at preventing oral problems, restoring damaged teeth, and treating oral issues to maintain excellent oral health and general well-being. You can visit a general dentist’s office once you experience a problem like pain or sensitivity. But you are advised to regularly visit your dentist’s office to enjoy a wide range of general dentistry services.

    We recommend our general dentists at The Lakewood Dentist for quality, timely, and affordable general dentistry services. You can rely on our services for all your family dental care needs in Lakewood, CA. Call us at 562-423-1441 to learn more about general dentistry and our services.

    Get Your Confidence Back and Smile. Don’t Wait!



    Find a Dentists Near Me

    Your smile is one of your defining features, and you should trust your oral and general health to an upstanding dental practice. The experienced team at The Lakewood Dentist is happy to be your family’s primary resource for practical and gentle dental services. With the proper care, you can enjoy a healthy, beautiful, and lasting smile, and we are excited to assist you in reaching your goals! Whether your smile needs restorative care to repair damaged teeth, cosmetic care to enhance your smile’s appearance, or you are looking for a new dentist to care for your family, we have your ultimate solution.

    Our friendly dentists welcome patients throughout Lakewood to discover why many choose us to meet their oral health needs. Whether you want to establish ongoing care, are new to the area, or want to discover how state-of-the-art technology can assist you feel and look your best, our practice has the technology, personalized approach, and skills you deserve. We will ensure you are comfortable during your visit.

    Contact our friendly team today at 562-423-1441 to learn more about our broad range of services and to get started!