Many dentists (like Canyon Crest Dental, a dentist in Lehi, Utah) will agree that very few people are familiar with comprehensive dental care and what it entails. In essence, comprehensive dental care refers to a dental office’s treatments that improve or sustain overall oral health. These treatment services can be in the form of cosmetic dentistry, such as teeth whitening, which can help improve a patient’s smile, or restorative dentistry, such as dental implants, that can restore tooth function.
It’s worth noting that preventive dentistry, such as routine cleanings and x-rays, for example, also fits under the umbrella of comprehensive dental care. Indeed, comprehensive dental care is all-encompassing and significantly reduces the need for referrals.
Statistics related to comprehensive dental care and patient referrals
According to a study published by the American College of Prosthodontists, 63 percent of general dentists reported referring patients to an endodontist. Somewhat surprisingly, only 44 percent of general dentists stated that they often referred patients to periodontists and orthodontists. When asked why they didn’t refer patients to a specialty dentist, most of the general dentists surveyed claimed it was because they could perform the procedure themselves.
While this study is limited in scope and doesn’t necessarily represent the whole, many general dentists, especially those that offer comprehensive dental care, can perform many of the same procedures that specialty dentists can. Beyond that, all general dentist offices have access to a team of hygienists and dental assistants that work with the dental practitioner to ensure patients receive the best care possible.
What can patients expect from dental practices offering comprehensive dental care?
In most cases, general dentists offer comprehensive dental care and will provide the following treatments to patients who need them:
While this is a broad term, it encapsulates many of the treatments routinely performed by most general dentists. In short, general dentistry can include both cosmetic and restorative dentistry. Some of the more commonly-performed procedures that fall under this general dentistry category include the following:
- Dental fillings
- Teeth whitening treatments
- X-rays and basic cleanings
These treatments include scaling and root planing, soft tissue grafting, and several procedures that combat periodontal disease. While a patient will occasionally require a referral to a periodontist, in other cases, an experienced general dentist can perform these procedures in-house, saving the patient time and money.
Dental implant therapy
These treatments involve placing an artificial tooth root, typically made from a titanium screw-like post, into the space left behind by one or more teeth. After completing this step, a general dentist or periodontist will cover the root with a tooth-colored crown.
These dental implants can support full or partial permanent dentures. That said, dental implants can significantly enhance patients’ smiles while enabling them to continue enjoying their favorite foods.
All in all, comprehensive dental care, as the name might suggest, is a collection of dental treatments that are carried out by a licensed dentist to promote good overall oral health. For more information on any of the treatments detailed in this article or if you’d like to schedule a consultation, consider contacting a local dentist like Canyon Crest Dental.