Dentists who do not have a specialization in front of their title are ‘General Dentistry.’ Many people who study dentistry opt to concentrate on one area—such as orthodontics, endodontics, or pediatrics, for example. These dentists narrow the focus of their dental practices to that one particular specialty—or, they join another dental practice that specializes in that particular area.
However, there are a great number of dentists who choose not to have an area of specialty. These are the ‘General Dentists.’ The area of general dentistry is much broader, obviously, than any other dental subspecialty. Dentists who opt for a practice in general dentistry are able to treat patients who are in need of dental assistance with any issue. A ‘General Dentist’ is licensed to practice in all areas of dentistry.
Some people also call this type of dentistry ‘family’ dentistry because, quite often, these dentists end up treating all members of a family. They can treat anyone from young children to teenagers to adults.
Dentists who choose to open or join general dentistry practices are trained well and have been schooled. They have studied just as much as other dentists in order to obtain their licenses. It should be stated, however, that dentists who specialize in a certain area usually complete extra years of training before becoming skilled enough in their specialty. ‘General Dentists’ do not complete this extra training; therefore, they will not have as much skill and technique as specialized dentists in their areas.
General dentistry is very all-encompassing; therefore, when patients visit a ‘General Dentist,’ they are visiting a well-trained individual with far-reaching skills. These dentists have a great deal of knowledge—their knowledge, though, is very much spread out. They know a little something about a lot of things, so to speak. Because of this, people in the general dentistry field are able to give broad opinions that encompass several aspects of dentistry—which is a very good thing.
‘General Dentists’ do know, however, that their knowledge does have its limits. They know that there are specialists who are better-trained to handle certain subjects. These specialists know a lot of something about a little bit of things, so to speak. Their knowledge is not all that spread out—it is all within the same general subject matter. So, these people are able to look at a problem and give a highly-detailed, specialized diagnosis.
People who are in the field of general dentistry do realize where their skills lie and where they need assistance. These dentists are not shy about asking for opinions from colleagues. ‘General Dentists’ will refer patients to specific dentists who have specialized in certain areas of study. This is because they understand that this is the best way in which to help their patients.
Most of the time, a person’s regular dentist will be a ‘General Dentist,’ rather than some type of specialty dentist. Finding and choosing ‘General Dentist’ is not difficult. Just make sure your dentist is certified and experienced—and make sure to visit him regularly.