Family Dentist vs. Pediatric Dentist


Which One is Best for Your Child?

Choosing a Family Dentist or a Pediatric Dentist can be difficult. A common question people ask is, “Should I take my child to a family dentist or a pediatric dentist?”

If you’re looking for a good dentist for your child, there are probably several things you’re considering.

You want…

  • to ensure your child’s teeth are cared for.
  • a positive relationship with the dentist.
  • your child to be comfortable around the dentist and to have a good experience.

What Is a Family Dentist?

Family dentists are similar to a general dentist. They provide a range of services rather than specialize in a specific field of dentistry like endodontics or orthodontics. They provide dental care to people of all ages unlike a general dentists who might sometimes restrict the age of people they will treat.

For severe problems, a family dentist will often refer you to a specialist if it is something outside of their main skill set like reducing plaque buildup around teeth, eliminating tooth decay, filling cavities, and ensuring that gums remain healthy.

What Is a Pediatric Dentist?

Like all dentists, pediatric dentists attend four years of dental school in addition to receiving a bachelor’s degree. Unlike other dentists, pediatric dentists undergo an additional two to three years of training.

The specialty training teaches them how to deal with children’s behavior, make kids feel comfortable, and treat the unique dental needs and issues of children. Pediatric dentists also receive training and qualifications for treating children with special needs.

Pediatric dentist offices also tend to revolve around children. They have a play area, they use smaller tools that look more kid-friendly, and they are great at explaining dental procedures and terms to their patients. Because pediatric dentists only treat children, their experience enables them to quickly identify issues unique to children, and help solve those issues, as well.

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Advantages of Both Family and Pediatric Dentists

Advantages of choosing a family dentist over a pediatric dentist for your child:

  • They are typically comfortable treating children, even if they have less experience with kids than pediatric dentists.
  • You and your child can visit the same dentist.
  • They sometimes provide multiple specialties.

Advantages of choosing a pediatric dentist for your child:

  • Because they treat only children, they have more experience with kids.
  • They have an additional 2-3 years training, enabling them to specialize in treating children.
  • The have fun office environments designed for kids have a great time.
  • They are better equipped to provide optimal care for children with special needs.
  • They use smaller and more kid-friendly dental tools.
  • They have extensive knowledge when it comes to preventative care for kids.

In the same way that you would take a child to visit a pediatrician, we always recommend taking your child to a pediatric dentist. A family dentist can certainly care for your child’s teeth and help prevent cavities, but they cannot provide the same specialized care your child would receive at a pediatric dentist.

Contact Us to schedule an appointment for your child.

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