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A general dentist is your primary dental care provider and someone who studies general dentistry and has earned either a DMS or DDS degree (Doctor of Dental Medicine or Doctor of Dental Surgery). This dentist diagnoses treats and manages your general oral hygiene needs including root canals, implants, gum care, bridges, veneers, crowns, fillings, and preventive education.

Some roles and responsibilities of a general dentist include:


As implied by the name, it is the correction of existing problems. The procedures include root canals, implants, and dental fillings. Fillings, made of gold, silver or porcelain are put in cavities to cover them and restore the functioning of the tooth. The most common areas where cavities develop are on molars and premolars.

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As much as more complex procedures in aesthetic dentistry need specialists like a prosthodontist, a general dentist who specializes in fixing veneers. These are enamel-colored, made mainly out of porcelain and worn over the teeth to cover stains or to hide chipped teeth.

Bleaching or whitening is both cosmetic procedures that can be performed by a general dentist where a combination of chemicals is used to lighten the teeth.


The objective of preventive dentistry is to stop the advancement of oral problems and to eliminate the chances of them developing altogether. Some of the procedures include scaling, which is the removal of plaque and tartar using an ultrasonic scaler. Sealants work like fillings but can be placed before the cavities develop.