General Dentistry


General dentists are the primary dental care providers for patients of all ages. They can treat you and your entire family and care for your overall oral health. This is crucial to your total health. Your general dentist takes responsibility for the diagnosis, treatment and overall coordination of services to meet your oral health needs. If you need a specialized dental procedure performed, your general dentist may work with other dentists to make sure you get the care you need.

 Where do general dentists practice?

General dentists make up the majority of the 143,000 dentists practicing in the United States and Canada. Sometimes they become partners or associates with other dentists in a group practice. Other general dentists own their practice. Some general dentists work in government health services, research programs, higher education, corporations and even the military.

 What kind of procedures do general dentists provide?

Our dentists are highly educated and trained on all dental procedures. Our service areas include:

  • Cosmetic procedures
  • Crowns and bridges
  • Dental implants
  • Dentures
  • Gum disease treatment
  • Home care instruction
  • Mouthguards
  • Nutrition counseling
  • Oral surgery
  • Orthodontics
  • Partial dentures
  • Restorative care
  • Root canal therapy
  • Sealants
  • Teeth cleanings
  • Tobacco cessation
  • TMD/TMJ therapy

 How much education is required to become a general dentist?

To become a general dentist, three or more years of undergraduate college education degree (typically with a strong science foundation) plus four years of dental school is required. After graduating, dentists must take a licensure examination which is required by the state in which they practice.

 What’s the difference between DMD and DDS?

Just one letter! Both dentists receive the same education and complete the same curriculum requirements. DDS stands for Doctor of Dental Surgery and DMD stands for Doctor of Dental Medicine.

 Why does my dentist belong to the AGD?

Your general dentist cares about long-term dental health for you and your family and demonstrates that concern by belonging to the AGD. Members are dedicated to continuing education to help them stay up-to-date on the latest procedures to provide you and your family with quality treatment.

Causes of Malocclusion

Most cases of malocclusion are hereditary. However, certain habits that alter the alignment between the teeth and jaw can also contribute to malocclusion. Some causes include:

  • frequent use of a pacifier past infancy
  • prolonged bottle feeding
  • early childhood thumb sucking
  • oral injuries
  • impacted / crowded teeth
  • poor dental hygiene
  • airway obstruction
  • mouth tumors
  • enlarged adenoids and tonsils
  • cleft lip / cleft palate


There are four classifications of malocclusion and depending on the class level; the symptoms can range from mild to severe and can include:

  • misalignment or crowding of the teeth
  • oral discomfort when eating
  • speech impediment
  • biting of the tongue or cheek
  • changes in facial appearance
  • mouth breathing

Diagnosing and Classifying Malocclusions

 Oral malocclusion can be diagnosed through a routine dental exam along with X-rays.  The dentist can determine if your teeth and jaw are aligned properly. If malocclusion is discovered, it will be classified by the type and severity.

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