The Academy of General Dentistry defines the general dentist as the primary provider of dental care for patients of all age groups. The general dentist is responsible for the diagnosis, treatment, management, and overall coordination of services related to patients' oral health needs. General dentists are the primary providers of dental care for people of all ages. At a routine visit to the family dentist, they'll likely have a thorough exam of your mouth (including your teeth, gums, and other structures), have a professional cleaning, and discuss your dental (and overall) health. If your exam reveals the presence of cavities, you will likely also have a filling done on the affected tooth.
However, these procedures, while common, aren't the only services your general dentist provides. In a nutshell, the definition of a general dentist is a dentist who provides services related to the general maintenance of dental health and hygiene. General dentists are considered experts in oral health problems. They offer a full range of procedures that also include cosmetic procedures. General dentists not only stay in dental school, but they continue their studies by attending additional workshops, conferences and courses, thus obtaining higher education than a DDS and DMD degree.
A family dentist offers dentistry for all stages of life. They treat children, teens, adults and the elderly. General dentists receive extensive training before practicing. It usually takes 3 or more years of college education, as well as 4 years of dental school, before a person can graduate and become a general dentist.