When you have a growing family, you want to know that you have the best dental care available for them. Each stage in your child’s development will come with a new set of dental needs and challenges. Parents, especially new ones, may wonder if they need to change providers to get a family or pediatric specialist. This can be particularly troublesome when the difference between the two isn’t clearly understood. We’re going to provide some information about what each specialty does and prepare you to make an educated decision for your family’s dental care.
Do You Really Need A Family Or Pediatric Dentist?
It’s important to know that every dentist can provide general dental care, even specialists. However, as you might imagine, specialists are particularly skilled in their focus. Three types of dentists provide general care for families and children. General dentists, as the name implies, are true generalists. Family dentists specialize in providing care for minors and their parents alike. Pediatric dentists have a particular focus on providing dental care for those in their developmental years.
Understanding the care that these two specialists provide is essential in knowing which is right for your family. Each of them emphasizes preventative care as a core principle of their practice. They’re also dedicated to providing beautiful and healthy smiles for their patients. However, these two specialties aren’t the same.
- Family Dentists: These “specialists” can also be thought of as a particular kind of generalist. They dedicate their practice to providing care for families at all stages of life. They provide care for those just starting out, to new parents, their children, and of course the elderly. They provide the benefit of being a ‘lifetime’ dentist and making it possible for all members of a family to be seen at the same location. Being treated by a family dentist means your child will be able to stick with the same dentist their whole lives.
- Pediatric Dentists: These specialists focus on the needs of children and teenagers. This makes them excellent for treating those with special needs, dental anxiety, and complex pediatric dental health concerns. They’re experts at handling the kinds of issues that can occur during childhood, and ensuring that issues such as improper bite and overcrowding are corrected before the adult teeth come in. The major drawback with these specialists is that they don’t see patients over 18.
As you can see there are reasons you may want to select either of these specialists. The generalized care for entire families can make family dentists an attractive choice. However, pediatric dentists, if your child has special dental needs of any kind, a pediatric dentist may be your best choice.
Consult With Your Family Dentist Today!
Consulting with your current dentist is an excellent way of determining if you need specialized care for your family. They’ll be best acquainted with the dental health concerns of you and your family, and whether or not a specialist is necessary. One last benefit to mention. Family dentists will become acquainted with your family oral history. Genetic heritage has been shown to play a role in what oral health concerns we’ll develop. This puts them in a perfect position to know what to expect and catch it early.