Good hygiene is important for both young and old, and it is important to more than just the health of your teeth, but your whole body as well. Seeing a dentist regularly for preventative care can help protect your overall health for the rest of your life. Once who performs general dentistry not only performs preventative care, but also several other procedures, as well as refers you to a specialist.
One of these other procedures that may be performed by your dentist is restorative care. He will use his tools, take pictures, and perform the necessary tests during your regular exam, and from those tests he figure out if you have a potential or existing problem. If he does find one, he will develop a plan for treatment and further prevention. It may also be determined during this exam that you have damage to your tooth due to tooth decay from cavities. This may require you to have fillings made from gold, amalgum, resin, or porcelain put in to fix and protect the tooth further.
Another restoration process that your dentist may perform is bonding. This is when a composite resin is glued to the surface of the tooth so that chipped or cracked teeth can be repaired. When it is finished, it looks good as new as it has been sculpted and polished so that the crack is filled and there is no trace of it left.
Some general dentistry practitioners may also perform orthodontic work. This is when teeth are fitted with braces or retainers to help align them. This can be considered both functional and cosmetic so that you can have a more attractive and healthy smile.
Often times, your exam shows an infection underneath the enamel, in the pulp and your dentist may suggest that you have a root canal performed. During this procedure, the tooth is hollowed out, filled with an antibacterial filling, then have a crown put on to protect it.
It may also be possible that you could use a dental bridge to replace any teeth that may be missing. These connectors are made with composite materials and are anchored to the teeth that surround it. This can be performed by someone in the general dentistry field with whatever materials that are available at any given time.
Finally, you may find out that your teeth are beyond repair and that you need dentures to get your smile back. Often that decision is up to you and can usually be performed by your regular dentist. The type you have depends on your coverage and the available technology.
Most dentists that specialize in general dentistry do offer special treatment to young children who may be scared. For all of your minor needs, any dentist should be able to help you keep your teeth, smile, and body healthy.