Children don’t often love going to the dentist, but of course, neither do their parents. But what are the differences between a family dentistry practice and a pediatric dentist? Is there really any benefit to specifically visiting a pediatric dentist? You can continue reading below to learn more so you can make the best and most informed choice for your family and your children.
Family dentistry and general dentistry are virtually interchangeable. Of course, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. For older children or young adults, they’re often more than able to behave themselves and will receive excellent dental care with a general practice. You can think of a family dentist much as you would a family doctor. They’ll likely have experience dealing with patients from the very young to the very old, and everyone else in between. Their focus is on general dental health, and they will focus on brushing, flossing, gum health, preventing or treating gum disease as needed, and they will offer cleaning for plaque removal.
There are some occasions when a family dental practice might not be ideal. You may have to get referred to a specialist for oral surgery or to an orthodontist for braces. Children are far more likely to need braces than older people, although adult braces are certainly possible. A family or general practice dentist also doesn’t specialize in working with children, so your experience may vary widely. Ultimately, how well they handle working with children will vary from dentist to dentist and from practice to practice, since it is not their area of focus. But you and your family can likely still get excellent dental care.
Much like a pediatrician, a pedodontist (the proper term for a pediatric-specialty dentist) goes the extra mile in specializing on dental care that’s specifically targeted for children. As with any other dentist, a pediatric dentist will have gone to four years of dental school. However, your pedodontist will also need an additional two years where he or she had residency training them to work with younger patients. This training will include working with infants, toddlers, elementary school-aged children, as well as middle schoolers and teenagers. That’s a minimum of two years, and if they’ve opened up their own practice, they will likely have many more years of experience working with children.
Since infants and toddlers can have special needs and require special attention, it’s definitely worth visiting your local pediatric dentist to see how they can help your children. Children, especially very young children, often require a bit more attention, patience, and a focus on explaining things to them in a calm and compassionate manner. As you know, children don’t always follow instructions the first or even third time, and so it’s important to have the patience necessary to tend to their care.
Of course, your experiences and the experiences of your children can run the spectrum from the outrageously terrific to the utterly terrible. Finding the perfect dentist and dental practice for yourself, your children, and your family can unfortunately require a bit of trial and error. For the best family dentist in Tyrone, GA, you’ll have to judge and gauge from your own impressions. Whether you believe that your child needs a specialist, or you believe that a family practice is more than adequate, the call will ultimately be up to you. The most important thing is that you, your children, and your family receive that care and attention that you all deserve.