When Should You Visit a General Dentist?

Posted on: 21 January 2021

Poor dental hygiene can lead to a majority of dental problems, including tooth decay, gum infections and diseases, accumulation of tartar and plaque, loss of teeth and foul breath. in addition, some habits like thumb-sucking on the thumb may also lead to overbites, crossbites and underbites.

Other individuals are born with small gums, meaning they may experience crooked, overlapping and overcrowded teeth. All these conditions require dental treatment, but you need to know which dental specialists treat what:

Who Is a General Dentist?

General dentists are specialists who are qualified, licensed and experienced in providing dental services like dental examination and diagnosis. They may also specifically offer dental cleaning services, primary and secondary tooth extraction services, teeth whitening services, bondings and veneers and tooth fillings. 

As you can see from the above, these are not complex dental procedures. If you have a dental condition that may require more specialised dental care, you will be referred to the particular dental specialist you need.

Who Are These Dental Specialists?


Some severe gum infections may require the unique services of periodontists. These are specialists who treat gum-related problems. Note that minor gum infections can be treated by a general dentist, especially where cleaning (removal of tartar and plaque) and prescription of mediation is the required treatment. As such, they will mostly treat gingivitis and periodontitis. Some may even specialise in dental implant procedures, which require surgery.


General dentists can treat minor tooth decay problems. This includes decay that has not reached the dentine—the second layer of your tooth—or pulp cavity, which is the third layer of your tooth. This is because all that is needed is a simple procedure to drill away the small decayed area and shape it back up using a dental filling.

If tooth decay has reached the pulp cavity, you may require the services of an endodontist to carry out a procedure referred to as a root canal. This procedure involves the removal of your tooth's pulp (blood vessels and nerves) and replacing them with a resin and filling. Note that some general dentists may also be qualified and licensed endodontists.


These are the dentists to visit if you have crossbites, underbites, overbites, crooked teeth, overlapping teeth or overcrowded teeth. They specialise in braces and dental headgear treatment.


These are the dentists to visit if you have missing teeth. They specialise in dental implants, dentures, denture implants and dental bridges.