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Dental and Oral Health (Adults)

Dental and Oral Health Overview

Simply put, general dentists take care of everyone. The Academy of General Dentistry describes the general dentist as "the primary dental care provider for patients in all age groups." These physicians diagnose, treat, manage and coordinate the services related to a patient's oral health.

Although they choose not to specialize in one area of dentistry, general dentists are trained in all dental procedures, from basic cleanings to restorative dentistry and surgical procedures. General dentists can typically treat children, adolescents, adults and the elderly with a wide variety of oral health conditions.

When necessary the general dentist will refer a patient to a specialist for care. The general dentist will coordinate overall oral health care needs with the specialist or specialists and work with the patient and other health care providers (physicians, dentists and others) to insure that treatment is as beneficial for the patient as possible.

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Last Reviewed: Nov 07, 2008

D Stanley Sharples, DDS
Clinical Assistant Professor of Primary Care Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University