Quad Cities, IL/IA

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What is General Dentistry?


By Robert L. Byrum, D.D.S., P.C., Pleasant Valley Dentistry

General dentistry encompasses a wide scope of situations. Maintenance of health and function, disease prevention, elimination of diseases and cosmetic dentistry.

Past longitudinal studies have indicated having a healthy mouth can add ten years to one’s life span. What could a person do with an extra ten years!

General dentistry can involve the health of the whole body to some degree, since the health of the mouth affects the whole body health and vice versa. The mouth can be the first place signs and symptoms of systemic disease can first reveal itself. I routinely screen for oral cancers during a patient’s hygiene appointment. Remarkably up to 40 percent of all oral cancers are found in people who have not been either a smoker or drinker.

Several people are still alive today because I discovered signs of oral cancer and referred them to the appropriate specialists for timely treatment.

Many things fall into the scope of general dentistry, including dental hygiene, periodontal therapy (gums), fillings, extractions, dental implants replacing single and multiple teeth, removable partial dentures, full complete dentures, crowns, bridges, veneers and other cosmetic things such as tooth whitening. General dentistry involves chewing function (mastication) which is important for proper nutrition and digestion. Phonetics of speech, lip and cheek support, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) function and dysfunction, esthetics, as well as diagnoses of various disease processes including oral cancers. All the above fall into the realm of general dentistry.

Kids are great, and adults too are wonderful. I’ve seen ages 1 through 104 and every year of age in between over my years in practice. There is not much that I have not seen in dentistry. Patients getting their first tooth to having no teeth. I’ve seen patients in their 100’s having most of their teeth and I’ve seen patients in their 20’s with little or no teeth. Why this huge range? Accidents, disease, diet, and individual priorities can be the cause.

General dentistry can be a major contribution to the transformation of one’s life in their confidence and self-esteem, improving lip and facial support, esthetics, phonetics and chewing function, resulting in smiling with confidence.

Popularity of dental implants has grown over the years and is one of the most successful procedures in all of dentistry. However, still dental implants are widely under-utilized but steadily gaining ground in acceptance within the general population. I work with a great team of oral surgeons and lab technicians and have been restoring dental implants for nearly two decades.

I am proud to be a general dentist and grateful to have helped thousands of people with their dental care.

Robert L. Byrum, D.D.S., P.C.

For more information, please contact Pleasant Family Dentistry at 563-275-3566 or visit their website at www.byrumfamilydentistry.com.