Philadelphia, Main Line, and Ardmore, Pennsylvania Cosmetic Dentistry
General Dentistry Expertise
Overview of General Dentistry
Are you looking for a good general dentist in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area? Dr. Lindsey Marshall has the knowledge of dental conditions and disorders of the teeth, gums, and jaw to provide top-quality general dentistry services. Some of these services include fillings, dental crowns, and dental bridges, as well as regular professional cleanings to remove plaque and tartar and check-ups to catch any decay before it becomes severe.
Dr. Marshall provides general dentistry with an eye for the aesthetic appearance of your smile. If you have had poor oral care in the past, she can correct the dental health problems stemming from that in a cosmetically attractive and functional way.
Most dental schools do not offer training in cosmetic dentistry or Physiologic dentistry, leaving those areas to be studied in post-graduate training. Dr. Marshall graduated and completed extra training at the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies (LVI).
“We have been patients since she first opened almost 15 years ago and will never leave her. She is the best!” ~ Patient
What is General Dentistry?
General dentistry is concerned with the oral health of the patient. This aspect of Dr. Marshall’s practice involves the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of the various conditions that affect the teeth, gums, and the maxillofacial (jaws and face) region of her patients. You can think of Dr. Marshall in her general dentist role as the family doctor for your teeth, gums, and jaws.
General dentistry aims to be preventative in nature. The goal is to head off serious issues such as gum disease early on, when it is simply gingivitis. Dr. Marshall wants to spot decay in a tooth as early as possible, minimizing the amount of tooth matter that needs to be removed and replaced with a composite filling.
To stay on top of your general dental health, Dr. Marshall employs the latest technology: digital X-rays, DIAGNOdent caries detection, CEREC in-house porcelain crown and filling creation, TENS for TMJ treatment, diode lasers for gum treatment, intraoral cameras, and much more.
General Dentistry Procedures
When you think of what the dentist always has provided — teeth cleaning and exams, removal of decay, bridges, crowns, treatment of gum disease, and more — these all fall under the role of prevention and treatment. You don’t see cosmetic options, such as dental bonding or porcelain veneers, on that list, as those aren’t general dentistry procedures; those are cosmetic dentistry procedures.
Here’s a list of Dr. Marshall’s general dentistry services:
- Basic cleaning and exams — Removing plaque and tartar needs to happen every six months to keep tartar from advancing under the gums. Finding and removing decay and placing composite fillings is a part of these general appointments. Exams at this six-month interval allow Dr. Marshall to catch issues such as tooth decay early.
- Gum disease — Gum disease starts as gingivitis, when the gums are becoming irritated by plaque buildup. When that plaque becomes tartar and is not removed, it begins to push under the gums. This is now gum disease. Dr. Marshall begins with root scaling and root planing to remove this tartar and help the gums reattach to the teeth. From there, she may need to disinfect pockets that have formed and remove diseased portions with a diode laser.
- Dental implants — Far and away the best solution to replace a missing tooth, dental implants are based on a titanium “implant” that is screwed down into the jawbone in the hole of the former natural tooth root. The jawbone then grows around the implant, making it a part of the jaw. An artificial tooth is attached to the implant. Implants can last the remainder of the patient’s life.
- Porcelain crowns — Dr. Marshall uses porcelain crowns to save a tooth that has serious damage and is in danger of needing extraction. The crown covers the entire visible portion of the tooth. Crowns are also used to anchor bridges. Thanks to her CEREC technology, Dr. Marshall can place crowns in a single visit.
- Dental bridges — If a patient is missing a few teeth, a bridge can be used to replace the teeth. A bridge has a crown on the healthy teeth on each side of the “gap,” with artificial teeth “bridging” the gap. Bridges are a single piece and are usually mounted permanently.
- Laser dentistry — Diode lasers have changed dental treatment of soft tissues forever. When addressing diseased gum tissue, Dr. Marshall can now remove it with the laser, which instantly vaporizes the tissue, closes the incision, and disinfects the area. This usually precludes the need for stitches, minimizes any chances of infection, and makes recovery just about pain-free.
- Orthodontics — Not a part of all dentist offerings, Dr. Marshall also provides orthodontic treatment for aesthetic and restorative reasons, or to correct Physiologic problems. Whenever possible, she now uses the Invisalign system of plastic aligner trays rather than traditional metal bands and wires.
- Physiologic dentistry — When your jaw is improperly aligned, it can lead to chronic pain throughout your face and down into the shoulders and neck. This is called temporomandibular joint disorder, and Dr. Marshall has received special advanced training in diagnosing and treating this painful condition.
Are General Dentistry Procedures Combined with Cosmetic Dentistry?
There is overlap between general and cosmetic dentistry. For instance, when a dental implant is used to replace a missing tooth, you could consider this simple general dentistry to fill the gap and keep the adjacent teeth from moving. But it is also cosmetic in that it beautifies the smile. General dentistry is more about prevention and maintaining the patient’s oral health. Cosmetic dentistry is concerned with the aesthetic look of the patient’s smile. But the end goal of having a beautiful, functional smile is common to both.
A Preventative Approach
Dr. Marshall emphasizes the importance of good dental habits and offers a full array of preventative dentistry procedures. Being a trained cosmetic dentist, she has a more preventative mindset than a typical general dentist, as well as an educated eye and skill with cosmetic dentistry materials such as porcelain and composite.
When restoring a decayed tooth, Dr. Marshall will do it with your attractive smile in mind. We offer only mercury-free tooth-colored fillings that will blend in beautifully with your natural teeth. If Dr. Marshall notices an additional problem, such as bite misalignment potentially indicating temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), she will bring it to your attention and discuss further treatment options.
No matter the extent of treatment you need, Dr. Marshall’s goal is to inform and educate rather than to dictate. Both Dr. Marshall and her team place a high priority on clear communication with each patient. Regardless of how routine or how complex your dental needs may be, you can count on receiving knowledgeable and fully customized care each time you walk into our office.
Should I Come in for Cleanings and Checkups Every Six Months?
Patients sometimes wonder if our six-month timeframe for coming in for professional cleanings and exams is arbitrary. It is not. Six months is about the time it takes for plaque to build up and turn into tartar. Tartar cannot be removed at home. As it builds up, tartar pushes under the gumline, and this is the beginning of gum disease. With six-month appointments, we can remove any tartar you have built up before it becomes a problem. Plus, exams at this period allow Dr. Marshall to catch problems such as tooth decay early, making their treatment easy.