Pediatric Dentist V/S Family Dentist – Who’s Your Choice


What is the difference between a pediatric dentist and family dentist? This is one of the most perennial questions that parents tend to have in their mind when they plan to take their kids to dentists. As a caring parent you should never delay taking your child to the dentist as tooth decay and other problems can start early. To talk about their skills and responsibilities both deal with teeth and gum problems, oral hygiene and help in improving the condition of teeth. Both suggest you to start visits early which help in preventing or arresting several tooth and gum problems.

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They offer different forms of care to the child including baby bottle tooth decay, teeth irritations, prolonged thumb sucking and other gum diseases.

As far as seeking an appointment with a dentist for your child is concerned you can either go to a family dentist or a pediatric dentist as the procedures performed and the care rendered are on the similar lines. While your family dentists would offer care and perform procedures for children of all ages and even during their adulthood, pediatric dentists specialize in treating children from their birth right till their adolescence.They have to undergo 2-3 years of specialty training and limit their practice only to children. However in cases where your child has special needs such as when they are chronically ill, disabled or mentally challenged going to a pediatric dentist would be a good choice as they have specialized training in dealing with such issues. Let us discuss a few of the advantages of taking your child to a pediatric dentist.

Child Friendly

Talking about a dental visit purely from a child’s point of view visit to your family dentist can be scary. Children are anxious and the different sights and sounds at a regular dental clinic can make their feel scared which makes them uncooperative. Pediatric dentists are trained in making the visit and treatment a pleasant experience for the kids. They can easily understand child psychology and make them feel comfortable during the visit. Whether it the administration of anesthesia or a tooth extraction your child would cooperate with the pediatric dentist.

Growth & Development Issues

Unlike adults your child’s body is continuously growing, changing and developing. A pediatric dentist is aware of all the problems that a kid faces during your growing period and optimizes the treatment and care to meet the growth in the child. While conducting a physical examination a pediatric dentist would monitor the growth of teeth to detect any abnormalities and prevent major tooth and gum issues in the future. They may also remove a selected tooth to offer room for permanent teeth in the future.

Special Kid Care

If your child is differently abled or has medical complication such as autism, cancer, cerebral palsy, or heart problem, special care needs to be rendered by the dentist and in all such cases. Pediatric dentists are trained in such kind of specialized treatment which your family dentist may not have expertise on.

Having discussed these advantages it also needs to be mentioned that your family dentists can offer care to your children right through their adulthood and also aware of your family dental history which gives them an advantage over the pediatric dentist. It also saves time as your entire family can undergo periodic dental checkup at one go. Thus choosing a dentist is purely a matter of dental conditions and special needs and you need to take a call based on the dental and overall health of your child.