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 oral health, which is crucial to your overall 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, your general dentist may work with other dentists to make sure that you get the care you need.

General dentists make up the majority of the 150,000 dentists practicing in the United States and Canada. Sometimes they become partners or associates with other dentists in a group practice. Other general dentists have their own practice. A dentist may be a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS), or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD).

General dentists can provide many different services for you and your family, such as: crowns and bridges, dental implants, dentures, information on how to take care of your teeth, mouth guards, some restorative care, some surgical procedures, sealants, teeth cleanings, and TMD/TMJ therapy.

Source: MedlinePlus and Academy of General Dentistry

Note: This definition was prepared to help consumers find reliable health resources on the web. This site is not responsible for the information on other sites. The information here — and on all websites — is not intended to be a substitute for care given to you by a health professional.

Recommended Reading

MouthHealthy, American Dental Association
The ADA's public site has an excellent section on dental topics A-Z.

Know Your Teeth, Academy of General Dentistry
The AGD's site has excellent oral-health information for all ages, including children's and seniors' dental health.

Colorado Dental Association
This site, for both dental professionals and the public, contains information on many dental topics, including how to find low-cost care if your income is limited.

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