Learn the differences between a family dentist and a pediatric dentist to help determine which form of dental care is right for your family.
Are you looking for a dentist for your growing family? You may find yourself wondering whether you should contact a pediatric dentist or a family dentist. And if you don’t know the difference between these two service providers, you’re certainly not alone.
While both family and pediatric dentists are able to treat young patients, pediatric dentists have earned an advanced specialization in that area. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you must take your children to a pediatric dentist.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the differences between pediatric dentists and family dentists, including the advantages of each, what categories of patients they work with, and how to determine which type of dental provider is best for your family.
What is a family dentist?
Family dentists are general dentists who treat patients of all ages, making them an excellent resource for families with young children. A family dentist can support patients through every stage of life, from baby teeth to children’s dentistry all the way to adulthood. They are able to provide a wide range of procedures, from routine exams and teeth cleanings to filling cavities, orthodontics, gum disease treatment, extractions, cosmetic dentistry, and beyond.
Family dentists typically treat patients of all ages; this exposes them to a wide range of dental concerns. Often, family dentists have a strong focus on educating their patients on the best methods to maintain their optimum oral health, such as how to properly brush your teeth or how to floss most effectively.
Advantages of family dentists
Because family dentists can provide dental care for patients of all ages, your entire family can visit the same dentist for convenience. This also enables you and your children to stay with the same dentist perpetually. With this familiarity, your dentist will have a complete picture of your dental health history, making it easy for them to spot any potential issues early.
What’s more, since family dentists routinely treat patients of all ages, they are well-versed in a wide range of the dental issues and challenges that their patients may face. The ability to stay with the same dentist also makes the prospect of dental checkups much less stressful. Once you’ve established trust with your dentist, any anxiety you or your children tend to experience around dental appointments will surely fade. And over time, family dentists often begin to feel like part of YOUR family, too!
What’s a pediatric dentist?
Pediatric dentists focus specifically on providing oral health care for children from infancy through their teen years. Pediatric dentists have specialty degrees. After completing four years of dental school, pediatric dentists must complete an additional two-year residency in a dental office that solely or primarily treats children.
Pediatric dentists are experts in the dental problems and best practices that concern infants, children, and adolescents. They have in-depth knowledge of a child’s dental anatomy and how it will continue to change over time. This enables them to anticipate potential issues and make strategic recommendations based on what is best for a patient’s long-term oral health.
Advantages of pediatric dentists
Pediatric dentists have advanced training in the dental anatomy of children and the issues and challenges young patients may face. They are well-versed in working with children and understand how to make a dental visit as comfortable as possible for their young patients.
Because pediatric dentists work exclusively with children, they have experience managing all the anxiety and stress that youth face around visiting the dentist. They understand child psychology and know how to explain dental procedures and tools in a way that children will understand and respond to. Typically, pediatric dentist practices are designed to be exceptionally kid-friendly.
What’s the difference between family and pediatric dentists?
The main difference between a family dentist and a pediatric dentist is that a pediatric dentist has a specialization and only treats infants, children, and teens. After completing dental school, pediatric dentists must complete a two-year residency specializing in treating children before receiving their specialty designation. In some cases, they may be better able to manage care for children with complex needs. If your infant, child, or adolescent ever requires the care of a pediatric specialist, your family dentist could provide you with an appropriate referral.
When should you choose one or the other?
Choosing a dentist is a big decision, and it’s vital that you find someone well-qualified with whom you also feel comfortable. If your child has advanced dental issues that require ongoing care, it may make sense for them to see a pediatric dentist, since they typically remain current with all the latest innovations related to complex issues in the field. However, if your child’s dental needs are more general in nature, a family dentist can provide your child’s comprehensive care.
If you’re looking for a dentist who can provide care for your entire family year after year, a family dentist is an excellent option. Having everyone visit the same dental office is sure to simplify your life and make it easier to stay on top of checkups.
Let Tuxedo Dental Group Care for Your Family
If you’re wondering which type of dentist is right for you, Tuxedo Dental Group is here to help you make the best decision. As a group of family dentists, they are able to provide excellent, state-of-the-art dental care to everyone in your household. Contact us today — one of our team members will be happy to discuss your needs and answer any questions you may have.