What Is General Dentistry?

A general dentist is just like a general practitioner except one deals with teeth and the other deals with the general health of your overall body. When a general practitioner finds something wrong that his/her practice doesn’t handle, they will refer you to a specialist (cardiologist, neurologist, etc.), and the same with a general dentist. If your problem is beyond the scope of their expertise, they will refer you to a specialist (endodontist, periodontist, etc.).  So, what is that scope of that expertise we mentioned and what exactly is general dentistry?

General Dentistry Services

General dentistry is the treatment and diagnosis of problems with your overall oral health. It includes preventive education, dental exams and cleanings, dental fillings, crowns, bridges, veneers, root canal treatment, and caring for the gingival tissue (gums).  To practice general dentistry you must have earned either a DMD (doctor of dental medicine) or a DDS (doctor of dental surgery). The curriculum and the requirements, however, are the same: usually three or more years of undergraduate education, plus four years of dental school. To become a dental specialist, additional post-graduate training is required.

Why a General Dentist?

Everyone should have a general dentist to help them maintain their dental health, just as they have a general practitioner to help maintain their general health. To maintain your dental health you should visit your dentist bi-annually for a checkup and cleaning. Your dentist will probably also perform an annual oral cancer screening; can treat your children as soon as their first tooth erupts; on through the teen years providing sports mouth guards, helping diagnose bruxism, TMJ, and the need for braces; and into adulthood, keeping an eye on their adult gums to help them (and of course you, as well) avoid periodontal disease. If you are looking for a general dentist in the Austin, MN area, look no further. We would be glad to serve you!


Our team offers our patients and their family access to comprehensive dental care, including general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry. To schedule an appointment with the Potach and Mitchell Dental Clinic, contact our Austin, MN dental office today by calling 507-437-6312. Our office welcomes patients from Austin, MN and surrounding communities.