If you are looking for a new family dentist, you may be wondering what types of services are typically offered, and which additional ones you may need to shop around for. Usually, general or family dentists will offer at least basic dental services. However, some dental practices will offer more than just the essential basic services, and some can offer a highly comprehensive range of services.

You should also note that specialist dentists don’t fall under either category, and tend to offer services only in their certified specialty; in many cases, you will be referred if you need these services.

Basic Dental Services

Basic dental services typically include routine procedures aimed at maintaining good oral health and preventing dental issues. These services are often covered by dental insurance plans, and covered to a higher percentage; these services are generally seen as a key foundation of dental care. Below are some examples of basic dental services.

Regular Checkups

These appointments involve thorough examinations of your teeth and gums to detect any signs of decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues, including screening for oral cancer. As part of the examination, dental X-rays, digital imaging, and other diagnostics may be used to help the dentist identify problems such as cavities, impacted teeth, and bone loss that may not be visible during a visual examination.

Professional Dental Cleaning

Professional cleanings help remove plaque and tartar buildup, preventing cavities and gum disease.

Preventive Care

Fluoride treatments and sealants may be applied to help prevent decay and damage to teeth.

Fillings

If you have a cavity, your dentist will remove the decayed portion of your tooth and fill it with a dental filling material to restore its structure.

Extractions

In cases where a tooth is severely damaged or decayed and cannot be saved with a filling or crown, an extraction may be necessary to prevent further complications. Generally, only simple extractions, where a tooth is pulled, is considered a basic service. More complex extractions that require surgery, such as for impacted teeth, are not basic.

dentist shows model of dental prosthesis with implant

Comprehensive Dental Services

Comprehensive dental services go beyond basic care and encompass a wider range of treatments aimed at addressing different dental concerns. Where basic services focus on preventive care and routine procedures, comprehensive services offer more extensive treatments for a broader scope. Below are some comprehensive dental services that dental practices may offer. Different dentists and dental practices may offer any combination, or none, of these.

Complex Restorative Treatments

Comprehensive dental services include treatments such as dental crowns and inlays or onlays to repair and strengthen damaged teeth, as well as to prevent further dental problems. Fitting dentures and placing bridges restore missing teeth. 

Implant Dentistry

Implants are artificial teeth, with a titanium post acting as a tooth root. Some dental offices may offer these as replacements for missing teeth. 

Periodontal Therapy

Comprehensive dental care involves treating gum disease and other periodontal issues to restore gum health and prevent tooth loss. This may include deep cleaning procedures such as scaling and root planing, as well as surgical interventions if necessary.

Orthodontic Treatments

Comprehensive dental services may include orthodontic treatment options such as traditional braces or clear aligners to correct misaligned teeth and bite issues.

Cosmetic Treatments

Cosmetic dental procedures such as teeth whitening, veneers, and dental bonding may be offered by a dental office, to address the appearance of teeth. 

Root Canals

Root canal therapy is a comprehensive treatment aimed at saving a severely infected or damaged tooth by removing infected pulp and sealing the tooth to prevent further infection.

Sedation Dentistry

For patients with dental anxiety or those undergoing extensive procedures, sedation helps patients relax and reduces discomfort.

Dental Devices

Dentists may provide custom-made mouth guards or dental devices to address nighttime teeth grinding, TMJ, or sleep apnea.

Tongue Tie Treatments

Some dentists may offer frenectomies to improve speech and oral function when the lingual frenulum restricts tongue movement.

dentist man with patient woman in clinic

Importance of Basic and Comprehensive Dental Services

Both basic and comprehensive dental services play crucial roles in maintaining optimal oral health and preventing dental problems. Regular checkups and cleanings help prevent concerns and detect issues early on for prompt treatment. Treatments such as fillings restore and add strength to a tooth’s structure to avoid further damage. Comprehensive services, on the other hand, provide solutions for a more complex and broader range of dental concerns and offer desirable options not tied to dental health, such as cosmetic solutions.

Benefits of Practices Offering Comprehensive Dental Services

Opting for a dentist who offers comprehensive dental services ensures that all your dental needs can be addressed under one roof. Instead of visiting multiple specialists for different treatments, you can receive comprehensive care from a single provider who understands your dental history and unique needs. 

This not only saves you time and hassle but also ensures continuity of care and better coordination between treatments. Your dentist can offer a complete, personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs and goals, so you have both a holistic assessment of your oral health and a seamlessly-coordinated set of treatments. You can even enjoy the benefit of multiple services at the same time, such as addressing a cosmetic concern while a dental issue is treated.

DentiFlow offers highly comprehensive services to help your entire family, for your convenience. From a child’s first checkup to senior dental care and everything in between, we have you covered.

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