When choosing a dentist, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed or intimidated by all of the different options and specialties. So why not look for a dentist who can do it all?
That’s where our approach to comprehensive dentistry comes in. Comprehensive dentistry is an all-inclusive approach to your dental health, meaning you can rely on one dental practice for the majority of your dental needs.
In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the common services provided by a comprehensive dentist, plus ways comprehensive dental care can benefit your health.
What is comprehensive dental care?
There are many different types of dentists. These include:
- General dentists, who perform routine teeth cleanings and exams, and can refer you to other specialty dentists
- Orthodontists, who diagnose and correct misaligned teeth and jaws
- Periodontists, who treat gum disease and other gum problems
- Endodontists, who identify and treat tooth pain and nerve pain, and perform root canals
- Oral surgeons, who perform surgical procedures to the mouth
Although there are many different specialities, it’s easier to look at comprehensive care as a mindset rather than a specialty.
Comprehensive dental care considers dental health as a whole instead of focusing on just individual teeth or problems. Comprehensive dentists provide for all dental needs, both general and specialized. Their approach tends to focus on being predictive and proactive with your dental care.
What services do comprehensive dentists offer?
The services offered under comprehensive dental care will vary dentist to dentist, but generally include the following:
A key part of your dental health comes from preventive care. This is the most long-term type of dental care, consisting of regular dental exams, teeth cleaning, and healthy dental hygiene habits. Preventive services help identify common dental issues, like tooth decay or gum disease, and avoid larger problems later in life.
Some examples of preventive care include:
- Teeth cleanings
- TMJ or bruxism (tooth grinding) treatments
- Gum disease treatments
When you’re dealing with a dental problem such as missing teeth or advanced tooth decay, your dentist will work to restore your mouth back to its original function and optimal health. Restorative treatments often include:
- Root canals
- Dental crowns
- Dental implants
Is there something about your smile’s appearance you wish you could change? This is what cosmetic treatments are for. These treatments help with things like stained or crooked teeth, and include:
- Teeth whitening
- Dental botox
Dental emergencies can happen any time — and when they do, you need a dentist who is available to you any time. A comprehensive dentist is more likely to offer 24/7 emergency services, or be on-call and available to offer guidance in the event of an emergency.
Health benefits of choosing a comprehensive dentist
When you choose a comprehensive dentist, there are a few health benefits you can look forward to. Let’s take a look below.
Benefit #1: Treatment that considers your whole mouth
Comprehensive dental care doesn’t just look at your teeth. It considers the health of your gums, the tissues in your mouth, the function of your jaw muscles, how they affect your bite, and so on.
Consider a scenario where you need to have a tooth extracted.
A general dentist will see the tooth needs to be removed, and remove it. A comprehensive dentist will identify the tooth that needs to be removed, then consider what impact extracting the tooth will have on the rest of the mouth and your overall health. They will make their treatment recommendations with that in mind.
Benefit #2: Comprehensive care saves you time and stress
Most people don’t consider themselves to have an abundance of extra time on their hands, right?
Comprehensive dentists are essentially a one-stop shop for your dental needs, saving you time by treating a variety of potential problems in house. You won’t be sent all over town to different dentists and appointments!
Imagine this: You go into your general dentist for a teeth cleaning. They identify severe gum disease around a few of your molars, and because they don’t offer gum disease treatments, they refer you to a periodontist.
You call in to make an appointment with the periodontist and find they are booked out for weeks. When you do make it in for your appointment, the periodontist identifies the best treatment to be scaling and planing, a procedure requiring a local anesthetic and multiple appointments to complete. A few weeks after your treatment, you return to have the treatment’s progress evaluated.
All in, that’s a total of 5 appointments over the course of a few months to treat your problem!
With a comprehensive dentist, you can get the care you need all in one place, saving you time and stress.
Benefit #3: The opportunity to develop a long-lasting relationship with your dentist
When you choose a comprehensive dentist, you can rest a little easier knowing you won’t have to rotate through a number of different people to have your teeth cared for. It allows you to develop a stronger relationship with one dentist rather than an introductory relationship with several dentists.
A few of the benefits to developing a strong relationship with your comprehensive dentist:
- History — because they know your dental history and have worked with you on your dental care in the past, your dentist will be able to offer you knowledgeable, personalized insight and guidance.
- Comfort — the more familiar you are with your dentist and staff, the more likely you are to feel less anxious about your visit because you know what to expect. Additionally, you’ll probably feel comfortable enough to ask more questions, and follow your dentist’s recommendations.
- Personalization — your dentist will know any special needs you have, such as dental anxiety or requiring a bite block when you visit.
Comprehensive care with Dr. Catt
We are happy to offer comprehensive dental care to our patients from the moment they step foot in our Medford office.
Whether you are simply seeking a dental exam or require more complex restorative treatments, we will do everything we can to help you feel comfortable and take control of your dental health.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment.