We want what’s best for our kids. This includes making sure their teeth are taken care of and there are considerations to make when you want to find a good dentist. Your child needs to feel comfortable, otherwise they will not get their teeth checked and cleaned correctly. If they have a bad experienced early on, it will make them anxious for future visits. You don’t want your children to be afraid of the dentist because good oral care means better overall health. Can you take your child to your dentist or should they go to a pediatric dentist?
General Family Dentistry
A family or general dentist provides a wide range of services instead of specializing in one area. A pediatric dentist may have a limit to the age of their patients, while family dentists will treat any age. Family dentists will usually focus on general dental issues like tooth decay, cavities, plaque buildup and making sure gums stay healthy. If there is a more serious issue, a family dentist will send you to a specialist.
All dentists finish four years of dental school, plus they have a bachelor’s degree. Pediatric dentists also complete two to three years of training on top of that. This training will teach them how to deal with children’s behavior. They learn how to make children less anxious and can take care of dental issues that are unique to children. They are also trained and qualified to treat children that have special needs. Pediatric dental offices are designed for children. There will be a play area and equipment that is more kid-friendly. They also have a way of explaining procedures to children in a way they will understand. Pediatric dentists can identify issues unique to children because children are all they treat.
Advantages of Taking Children to a Family Dentist
• You and your child can see the same dentist
• They are trained to treat children, but may have less experience
• Some provide other specialties at the same office
Benefits of Taking Kids to a Pediatric Dentist
• They have the extra training
• They are more experienced with children
• Better office environment for children and usually more fun
• Tools are designed for children
• They know more about preventative care
• They are better at treating children with special needs
Pediatric VS Family Dentist
Bottom line, a family dentist can treat your child and help prevent cavities, but they can’t give the specialized care a child might need if they go to a pediatric dentist. You take your child to a pediatrician over a doctor, so your child should see a pediatric dentist instead of a family dentist. If you’re still trying to decide, visit both offices and speak with the dentists to get a feeling about where you and your child will fell most comfortable.
Smile Reef offers pediatric dentistry that provides optimal care for your child’s teeth. Our dentists have the training and skills to make visiting the dentist a pleasant experience for your child. Give us a call today to schedule a consultation.