General dentists are not just qualified to carry out preventive care checkups, common dental examinations and routine procedures. They can also help to carry out some or all major procedures like endodontic care, orthodontic care and even cosmetic treatment. Unsurprisingly, not many are aware of this and even skip a visit to their family/general dentist and consult a specialist.
This is one of the main reasons why procedures such as dental implants, fillings, root canal, teeth extraction, bleaching have become very expensive. In fact, dental costs in Sydney are beyond the reach of average income earning households.
Sometimes visiting a specialist directly without the recommendation of a general dentist can be detrimental. Specialists limit the scope of investigation within their branch of specialization. But general/family dentists tend to take a basic approach towards the problem. Family dentists also have a better understanding of the patient’s medical history.
It is quite possible that a general dentist practicing for several years would have gained experience in a certain field of practice. The Dental Board cannot recognize his/her skills as a specialist, but their know-how can certainly help patients save money ideally spent on specialists.
For instance, rather than spend money on an endodontist for root canal, patients can visit an experienced general dentist who can perform the procedure at half the fees charged by the endodontist.
Most general dentists are qualified to provide;
a) Restorative procedures like filings, veneer, dental implants, bridges, dentures.
b) Orthodontic procedures like aligning teeth
c) Cosmetic procedures like bleaching
d) Surgical procedures like tooth extraction of tooth, minor surgery
General dentists can understand their limitations and will naturally refer patients to the concerned specialist if the case is beyond their scope. In fact, it is in their own interest to do so as it helps to avoid medical and legal complications.