There is an excellent reason why a general dentist tops the list of the most seen healthcare providers. The logic is simple, oral health is a vital component of someone's general well being, and general dentists are oriented towards the deterrence of disease. You are often advised on visiting the dentist at least twice a year, every three months or once every six months, depending on your circumstances.

This is usually because common oral infections could be a detector of something serious that may be going on inside your body, and general dentists do a good job preventing such occurrences. Washington Dental offers comprehensive dentistry In Los Angeles, Carson and Torrance & Lomita, CA. Our team of dentists makes every effort to ensure that you receive the best treatments that meet your dentistry needs.

What is General Dentistry?

Not only do general dentists offer you the first go-to services for oral health problems, but they also perform a wide array of dental procedures that provide relief to your oral problems. These dentistry procedures often include dental examinations that use tests, radiographs, and other instruments to identify prospective or already existing oral diseases. It is unwise to only go to the dentist only when your oral health has deteriorated.

Regular checkups and examinations should save you lots of discomfort and expensive procedures. Health problems such as tooth decay and oral cancer that can be detected by screening or oral x-rays can be prevented and treated at a very early stage. During your visit to your dentist, you will be given instructions on how to maintain your oral health to avoid the appearance or development of oral diseases. Your general dentist will work handily with you to come up with a hygiene plan that will work to identify your oral esthetic goals.

Dental Checkups and Exams

A dental checkup or examination is a checkup of your teeth and gums by a dentist or dental hygienist. During dental exams, you will be checked for cavities, tooth decay, gum disease, or any other problems in your mouth. The checkups include a cleaning session by a dental hygienist. Cleaning is done to remove any plaque present. Plaque is the sticky, colorless layer that continually forms on teeth that are made of microorganisms and bacteria. When it is not removed, it hardens and forms tartar that cannot be removed by brushing or flossing. A dental hygienist will scale your teeth to remove tartar using a unique tool. He or she may also polish your teeth using a gritty paste and floss your teeth to ensure the areas between your teeth are clean.

Your regular checkup may include dental x-rays. The x-rays are used to discover and evaluate the intensity of cavities between your teeth that are invisible to the naked eye. Your gums will be checked for any abnormalities using a tool that measures the depth between your teeth and gums. Healthy gums have shallow spaces between the teeth and gums, while unhealthy gums have much deeper spaces. If any abnormalities are found on your gums, you will probably be advised to visit your dentist up to four times a year. This is done to prevent a severe gum problem referred to as periodontists that destroy the soft tissues and bone that support your teeth. 

You should also expect an evaluation of your face, neck, and mouth for any abnormal signs that might be an indicator of a more significant issue. Your dentist or dental hygienist will check for any signs of oral cancer. He/she can do this by feeling your lips, cheeks as well as the sides of your neck. The sides of your tongue, the roof, and the floor of your mouth will also be examined.

After the dental examination, your dentist or dental hygienist will give you instructions on your diet and oral hygiene, depending on your oral health. These instructions will help you to improve your oral health in general. You might be told to return for a follow-up visit if you seem to be at risk of tooth decay or gum disease.

Teeth Cleaning

Many people dread the idea of having their teeth cleaned by a professional, making this practice one of the most underrated dental services. Some people fear the loud noises, others the occasional jaw discomfort that come with teeth cleaning. However, you must have a professional clean your teeth every once in a while to prevent a myriad of oral issues.

One of the aims of having your teeth cleaned by an expert is getting the entire gunk you are not able to get out when brushing your teeth at home. The food debris left on your teeth could lead to the increase of plaque and tartar and cause discoloration of teeth. It is also essential to have your teeth cleaned by a dental professional to prevent tooth decay, cavities, and tooth loss. The amount of time taken for this whole process will vary with the condition of your teeth. Teeth cleaning involves several steps, all of which are important.

Physical Examination

A dental hygienist first uses a small mirror to examine your teeth and gums to check for any signs of plaque, tartar, or inflammation of the gums. If any problems are detected, the dental hygienist will call the dentist who will give the go-ahead for your teeth to be cleaned.

Removal of Plaque and Tartar

Using the small mirror, the dental hygienist will use a tool called a scaler to get rid of plaque and tartar from the roots of your teeth and the gum pockets. The scraping sounds should not deter you. You should hear the sounds until all the tartar is scraped off. At home, you could reduce the formation of tartar by frequently brushing and flossing your teeth.

Cleaning with a Gritty Toothpaste

Cleaning with a gritty toothpaste is an equally important step just as the last one. The dental hygienist uses a high-powered electric brush that makes a grinding noise. Again, this should not scare you at all. It is meant to remove any tartar that might have been left behind by the scaler. The toothpaste has gritty consistency and tastes just like ordinary toothpaste, but you can always choose the flavor of the toothpaste that will be used on you. The grit in the toothpaste scrubs your teeth gently.


Nothing beats flossing done by a dental expert. Your dental hygienist can get in between your teeth and get all the dirt out. This step is vital as it gets out all the residue toothpaste and plaque from the above steps.


The dental hygienist will rinse out your teeth with a rinse that has liquid fluoride to remove any debris from the previous actions.

Fluoride Treatment

Your dental hygienist will cover your teeth with a sticky paste and will let it sit there for a minute. A foamy gel or a fluoride varnish may be used in place of the sticky paste. This last step will act as protection for your teeth. It will help you fight off cavities for several months after this treatment.

Inlays and Onlays

These are dental fixes used by a selected number of dentists to restore damaged teeth. Inlays and onlays are both referred to as indirect fillings. They come in handy when a tooth has suffered substantial damage. Inlays and onlays offer a lasting solution to tooth decay. They are made indirectly in a dental lab, fixed and bonded to the damaged tooth. Dental onlays are almost similar to dental inlays. However, they cover different scopes of the tooth.

A dental inlay is a type of tooth refurbishment that is natural-looking and is used to fix an already existing tooth that has been damaged and is too weak to support a tooth filling. However, this tooth damage does not have to be so extensive that it needs a dental crown. Inlays cover the areas between the cusps while the onlays are used to fix one or more damaged cusps. They are both meant to repair the chewing surface of the tooth.

Materials such as gold and porcelain are used to make both an onlay and an inlay. The choice of materials will depend on your preferences. You can choose the inlay for the aesthetic appeal, longevity, and functionality of the inlay, or work within your budget so you will not have to break the bank. They are more durable than the traditional dental fillers, and they rarely have complications during the procedure. A restoration using inlays and onlays is usually completed in two or more visits.

Onlays, on the other hand, refurbish large cavities without having to use a crown. A dental onlay is different from an inlay in that it covers one or more cusps of a tooth or the total biting surface of the tooth. They are also durable, but they can weaken the structure of the tooth. With the best dental care, onlays can last up to thirty years.

Dental onlays and inlays procedure typically involves the preparation of your teeth by the dentist where he/she removes any tooth decay and making an impression of the tooth's structure. The impression is sent to the dental lab during the first visit. A temporary dental filling is then placed to maintain the tooth. During the second visit, when the onlay or Inlay is ready, the temporary dental filling is replaced with the dental inlay or onlay.


A dental filling is a type of restorative treatment used to fix and repair small tooth fractures and other surfaces of the tooth that might be damaged. Filling materials that are often used are porcelain, composite, and silver amalgam. These materials are used to even out the surfaces of the teeth. If you have tooth decay and as a result of this, you happen to experience enamel loss, an appropriate dental filling is placed to ease the sensitivity of the tooth.

The dentist will use a drill or a dental hand-piece to remove the damage. The tooth is cleansed to kill and remove any bacteria. Before performing the composite restoration, the affected tooth is isolated using a rubber dam. Tooth isolation is essential as it does not allow moisture from the surroundings to interfere with the bonding process. The composite material is then hardened with a special bonding light in the presence of adhesives.

After the filler has been placed, you will be given instructions on how to take care of your teeth to prevent decay from forming underneath the filler or in your other teeth. Your dentist will also urge you to keep up with routine checkups and regular teeth cleaning.

Root Canals

It can be nerve-racking if you are about to have a root canal procedure. Root canals have been well associated with severe pain throughout the years. New technology, however, has enabled the performance of root canal procedures completely pain-free and pain-free recovery as well.

A root canal is a procedure used to remove a pulp tissue that has been infected from the inside of a tooth. The methods are carried out when tooth decay or infection reaches the pulp tissues of the tooth. The disease damages the nerves of the root of the tooth and eventually leads to the tooth's death. Today, a root canal dentist can save your tooth even after it is infected, unlike traditionally, where the only alternative for root canals was extraction.

Several signs may indicate that your tooth is diseased or has an infected nerve. If you probably have trouble eating or sleeping due to minimal to severe pain, a tooth that is sensitive to hot or cold liquids or foods, or if your gums are swollen and tender, you need to see a root canal dentist real quick. Do not ignore the symptoms. When the root canal is detected early, you might save your tooth. If your root canal dentist finds that you have a severe infection, he or she might refer you to an endodontist who is a root canal specialist.

You will be given a shot of anesthesia during the procedure. If you are too anxious, your dentist will offer sedation to calm you down. When the area around the tooth is numb, the dentist will drill through the crown of the tooth to remove the infected pulp and nerves. The area is then cleaned, and the root canal is filled. This prevents the root canal from reoccurring.

Tooth Extraction

If you have anxiety about having your teeth extracted, do not worry because you are not alone. Most people, from children to adults, will admit that tooth extraction is a procedure they hope to never encounter for whatever reasons. Tooth extraction, also known as exodontia, involves the removal of a tooth that cannot be repaired from its socket. Many reasons call for an extraction. Teeth that have been damaged by decay, malpositioned teeth, orthodontic treatment, or extra teeth are some of the reasons why a tooth might be extracted.

Your dentist can perform two types of tooth extractions: simple extractions done on teeth that are visible in the mouth and surgical extractions, which are procedures that involve teeth that cannot be reached or seen easily. The tooth might have broken off beneath the gum line. Simple extractions are the most common procedures, while surgical extractions are performed by dentists or oral surgeons under local anesthesia and conscious sedation. After the process, you can treat mild pain and discomfort using over-the-counter medication. Alternatively, you can apply a cold compress that will also reduce the swelling of that area.


Periodontics is an area of expertise in dentistry that focuses on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of oral tissue diseases. Periodontists carry out periodontal plastic surgery and placement of dental implants. Periodontal diseases are caused by bacterial infections that affect the gums, bone, and fibers that support the teeth and hold them in the jaw. Poor oral hygiene habits form plaque on teeth causing the bacteria on the plaque to release toxins that cause inflammation of the gums. People with diabetes and leukemia are also prone to gum disease because of lowered resistance levels.

When the gums are infected, your teeth may loosen and fall out, and as a result, they may need to be replaced with dental bridges or implants. These dental implants are used to provide an artificial tooth root to support as your dentist creates your dental restorations. Periodontal surgeries are essential as they cover the exposed surfaces of the roots, they correct the indentations that form on the gum and jawbone, and they reshape the gum tissue that had been damaged. Frequent dental checkups are necessary for the evaluation of your dental health, and gum disease necessarily requires specialized treatment. Your general dentist has the possibility of detecting and treating periodontal disease at its early stage.


Endodontics is an area of dentistry that focuses on treating the infected dental tissues and oral pulp adjacent to the roots of a tooth. The endodontic treatment provides treatment for the soft pulp tissue inside the tooth. It is also referred to as root canal treatment. A root canal procedure can be essential in relieving the pain you experience when you have had a significant infection that has reached the roots of your canal. The tooth can become reinfected when the disease is not taken out of the root canal. When you have had a dental procedure, but the discomfort does not fade away in a couple of days, or there has been an increase in pain, it could mean that the root canal has been reinfected.

Your general dentist will have to take an x-ray of your teeth to determine whether there is an infection and determine whether you need endodontic treatment. Your dentist may carry out the procedure or refer you to an endodontist or root canal specialist.

The dentist will perform a non-surgical treatment that is more like the typical root canal. Your dental crown will be removed, or your dentist will drill through the crown. When the tooth filling material is removed, the root canal is reshaped using a file, cleaned, then filled with gutta-percha. Your dental crown is then replaced with a new one. If this endodontic retreatment fails to work, endodontic dental surgery may be needed.


Although TMJ disorders are quite common among men and women, they are not well understood even in the medical society. TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint. This joint is one of the most complex parts of the body located at the base of the skull, linking the jaw to the skull. A TMJ disorder is characterized by pain within and around the jawbone. The basis of a TMJ disorder can be challenging to establish because several reasons can cause it. The genetics of a person, arthritis, or an injury of the jaw, hormonal reactions, stress, and many other reasons can cause TMJ disorders.

Your dentist may be able to point out the reason for some of your symptoms, but determining the root cause is hard. Your dentist may suggest that you first begin with-over-the-counter drugs to relieve pain at the beginning. Botox is another option that is currently undergoing research to be a potential treatment for TMJ disorders.

Find a General Dentist Near Me

Frequent visits to the dentist saves a person's smile and teeth. Numerous studies have shown the relationship between oral health and the general health of your body. Consequently, having regular checkups with your general dentist is crucial for so many reasons. Therefore, it is up to you to take up the responsibility of maintaining oral hygiene and following instructions from your dentist. Washington Dental based in Los Angeles, Carson, and Torrance & Lomita, CA, and is always ready to provide you with comprehensive care that is efficient, convenient, and cost-effective. You are welcome to reach out anytime for routine checkups or when you have dental problems, and we will assist you.