A general dentist is licensed to practice all areas of dentistry. The General Dentist is the “Captain” of the dental team, he is the creator and manager of the dental treatment plan. By performing a Complete Dental Examination, the dentist can determine the patients oral health. A dental examination is complete, if it allows identification of all active factors, that are capable of causing or contributing to the deterioration of oral health or function. It is incomplete, if it does not provide enough information to develop a total treatment plan aimed at the optimum maintainability of the teeth and their supporting structures. The ultimate goal of all dental treatments is Optimum Oral Health.
All treatment should have the goal of providing and maintaining the highest degree of oral health possible for that patient. Treatment planning has two objectives:
- Finding all of the factors that contribute in any way to deterioration of Oral Health
- Determining the best method of eliminating each factor causing deterioration
Total elimination of all the causative factors to the point of complete reversal is not always possible. The problems found in some patients are too severe, and have gone too long, to expect a complete return to ideal health. The degree to which we can eliminate the causes of their problems will directly relate to our success in changing unhealthy mouths into healthy ones.