General dentistry is a broad term that can be used to describe a number of treatments and specialties within the field of oral health. As an experienced dentist, Dr. Brian T. Shaffer performs a variety of general dentistry procedures to help serve the diverse needs of all of his patients. If you are interested in learning more about the treatments detailed below, contact Robin at our dental practice today.


What Is General Dentistry?

In a general practice, also known as a family practice, a dentist can choose to practice in the general areas of restorative dentistry, periodontics, endodontics, prosthodontics, orthodontics, pedodontics (kids dentistry) and generally all dentists practice oral diagnosis and treatment planning. So what is in each of these disciplines or areas of general dentistry and what can you find Dr. Shaffer doing in his San Antonio practice?

Restorative dentistry encompasses much in the day-to-day practice of dentistry. Dr. Shaffer performs numerous dental procedures in restorative dentistry including:

Many of the above procedures are often referred to as cosmetic dentistry— a term used for procedures that focus on improving both function and aesthetics at the same time.


Types of General Dentistry


Periodontics involves the diagnosis and treatment of disease and genetic abnormalities of the gums and supporting bone of the teeth. Dr. Shaffer and his hygienist both diagnose and treat the early stages of gum disease using several treatment options. Scaling and root planing of the teeth removes tartar (calculus) from the roots and crowns of teeth, while antibiotics can fight local gum infections. More extensive surgical treatments are needed to treat progressed disease and any genetic abnormalities of the gums and bone. Today, periodontal care also involves the surgical placement of implants. While Dr. Shaffer does not place implants, he works to coordinate your needs and preferences with the periodontist for placement parameters and then will complete the implant after placement with the final tooth structure.


Endodontics is the treatment of a diseased and dying nerve or pulp of the tooth. To most patients this is known as a “root canal.” An endodontic specialist performs treatment and is trained to re-treat the root canal to save the tooth in the event that original treatment fails. Dr. Shaffer performs some root canals in his practice, but prefers that teeth with very difficult canal anatomy or teeth that need re-treatment are cared for by an endodontic specialist. After infection has been removed, Dr. Shaffer then performs the restoration.


Prosthodontics is the repair of teeth using any form of prosthetic restoration. It includes crowns, dental implants, fixed or removable bridges, or dentures. It also involves full mouth restoration and rehabilitation procedures, such as treatment of TMD (temporal mandibular joint dysfunction)


Orthodontic treatment involves the straightening of the teeth. In today’s culture it is common for younger people to be seen wearing braces. Adults, however, may be uncomfortable with the inconvenience and aesthetic disruption braces can cause. Fast Braces is a newer technology that enables dentists and orthodontists to do comprehensive non-extraction orthodontics fast, with ease and quality. In fact, in many instances cases can be completed in just 120 days for both adults and teens.


Pedodontics is kid’s dentistry. Dr. Shaffer enjoys seeing the little ones of the practice. He and his staff work hard to make them feel comfortable while giving them the care they need. Dr. Shaffer knows how important it is to make dental appointments safe and fun for little patients and convenient for their parents. It is his goal to maintain a fully family-friendly practice.

Oral Surgery

While Dr. Shaffer will perform some oral surgeries in office, pending the difficulty, he may choose to refer some of his patient’s oral surgery needs to an oral surgeon or periodontist. The oral surgeon extracts teeth, especially wisdom teeth (3rd molars), does bone surgery to correct genetic disorders, such as a cleft palate, treats idiopathic pain of the jaw, and places implants.


More about General Dentistry

In short, general dentistry, or “family dentistry,” includes a number of general procedures focused on both the health and the beauty of your mouth. Dr. Shaffer is a precision  dentist who strives to serve both the needs and the wants of his patients. If you do need a specialist, Dr. Shaffer will help you select a practitioner who is highly qualified and distinctly reputable. Contact Robin to schedule an appointment or to learn more about  procedures offered at Alon Dental Care.