Pediatric dentistry is on the rise. But family dentists have been providing excellent care to young patients for decades. What’s the difference between a pediatric dentist and a family dentist? And which one is right for my child and family?
What Are The Differences Between A Family Dentist and a Pediatric Dentist?
Think of a pediatric dentist like a pediatrician who only sees children. A family dentist is like an old-fashioned family doctor who sees family members from infancy through the senior years. Both pediatric and family dentists have the same degree: either a DDS or a DMD. They get the same core training with four years of dental school. Pediatric dentists then complete additional training in working with children. Their residency focuses on child-specific dental issues, child psychology, behavioral issues, and working with kids with special needs.
What Are The Advantages of a Pediatric Dentist?
With their extra training and child-centered practices, pediatric dentists may be a good fit for some children.
- Pediatric dentists receive extra training in child behavior. They’re well-equipped to work with highly anxious children and special needs patients.
- Pediatric dentistry offices have special tools and furnishings designed with children in mind.
- Pediatric dentists receive special training in sedation dentistry, including nitrous oxide and other forms of sedation, for children with extreme anxiety and special needs.
What Are The Advantages of a Family Dentist?
A family dentist focuses on the lifelong care of your teeth, from childhood through adulthood. Here are some of the reasons patients continue to choose family dentists year after year:
- When the whole family can see the same dentist, it makes life so much easier. You don’t have to deal with the hassle of managing multiple providers. Scheduling and insurance issues are easier to navigate. Sharing a family dentist allows your dentist and staff to build lasting relationships with the whole family.
- Family dentists focus on preventive dental care for the whole family, starting from the first visit.
- Choosing a family dentist allows your child to build a relationship that can follow them through adulthood. When kids go to a pediatric dentist, they eventually “graduate” after high school or college and have to start over with a general dentist. Sticking with a family dentist means having someone who knows the ins and outs of your dental history and can continue providing excellent care through every stage of life.
- Family dental practices tailor their services to care for their youngest patients. In most cases, a family dentist can do everything a pediatric dentist does: cleaning and exams, fluoride treatments and varnish, sealants, sports protection and mouthguards. Family dentists are skilled at identifying orthodontic issues and can refer your child to an orthodontist if they need specialized care.
- Many family dentists offer sedation dentistry for children and adults.
- Family dentists tend to be more affordable than pediatric dentists. If you are on a high-deductible or HSA plan, seeing a family dentist can mean cost savings.
A Place For Families at Greenhill Family Dental Care
At Greenhill Family Dental Care, our focus is on offering excellent care to children and adults. We provide a calm, soothing atmosphere for patients of all ages. As any dentist or parent will tell you, dental hygienists are an essential part of offering quality care for kids. With their kind and compassionate approach to treating children, our team of hygienists is top-notch. Our hygienists work with our experienced dentists to offer comprehensive and gentle pediatric care. As a family practice, one of our favorite things is watching young patients grow and stick with our practice through the college years and beyond. We love our patients and tailor our services to meet everyone’s individual needs.