Most of today’s parents grew up going to a family dentist. Remember the plastic toys you’d get after a successful visit? As kids, we went to the same practice as our moms and dads and received great care and attention. Lately, pediatric dentistry is on the rise. For some young patients, seeing a pediatric dentist can have benefits. However, family dentists continue to meet the needs of many children and families. Every dentist who sees children– whether they’re a pediatric specialist or a family practitioner–has the same goal in mind. We want to keep young patients’ teeth healthy and develop great habits that will last a lifetime. We also want to build a trusting relationship with our patients, so the dentist’s office is associated with wellness rather than anxiety.
What Are the Differences Between a Family Dentist and a Pediatric Dentist?
Like a family doctor, family dentists see patients of all ages. They have lots of experience with kids but also treat adults. A pediatric dentist is comparable to a pediatrician, specializing in children only. Most patients who see a pediatric dentist transition to a general dentist after high school or college, between 18 to 22 years old.
Both family dentists and pediatric dentists complete four years of dental school, earning a DDS or DMD degree. A pediatric dentist completes an additional residency focused on treating children from infancy through young adulthood. Pediatric dentists also receive extra training in working with children with special needs.
Pediatric dentists often specialize in sedation dentistry for children. Sedation can be helpful for children with special needs or anxiety. However, most children don’t require sedation. A kind, positive and supportive approach is all that’s required for most kids.
Both pediatric and family dentists focus on preventive care and addressing the increasingly problematic issue of tooth decay in young children.
When Can My Child Benefit From A Pediatric Dentist?
The extra training a pediatric dentist receives can help families in the following situations:
- Children with special needs or behavioral issues require extra support.
- Infants with a tongue tie or lip tie.
- Toddlers who need help with pacifier attachment or thumb-sucking.
- Children with special needs or severe anxiety may need sedation for successful treatment.
What Are The Advantages of a Family Dentist?
Your family dentist is well-equipped to offer age-appropriate care for children. Here are some of the reasons a family dentist is an excellent choice for adults and children alike.
- Cost: Pediatric dentists are considered specialists, so their prices tend to be higher. Family dentists offer excellent child-focused care at a lower cost to families.
- Convenience: Choosing a family dental practice means the whole family can see the same dentist, making scheduling, communication, and insurance issues easier to manage.
- Consistency: Starting with a family dentist in childhood allows many patients to stick with the same practice throughout their adult years. Your family dentist has a thorough understanding of your child’s dental and medical history.
- Building trust: Establishing a relationship with a family dentist creates a sense of comfort and confidence that will develop and grow through the adult years.
Care For Patients of All Ages at Your Hometown Family Practice
You may think the community-focused family dental practice you grew up with is a thing of the past. But Hall Family Dentistry has a decades-long commitment to serving patients of all ages in Winchester. One of our favorite things is watching our patients grow. And now kids who grew up in our practice are bringing their own children for great dental care. This intergenerational support is at the heart of a hometown dentist and a big part of Dr. Hall’s commitment to serving the community. And, of course, we have a team of top-notch hygienists and assistants who understand and work well with kids. It adds up to a general dentistry practice where all patients are treated like family.