little girl brushing her teeth

Finding the best dental team for your family’s health is essential. After all, your oral health is just as important as ensuring the health of the rest of your body. If you’re looking for a great dentist for your children, there are likely several things you’re considering. Making sure your child is comfortable at the dentist is one of the best ways to ensure a lifetime of excellent oral health.

In this article, we will explore the differences between family and pediatric dentistry so you can decide what the best option is for your child and your family as a whole.

What Is Family Dentistry?

A family dentist is also considered a general dentist. This type of general dentistry provides a range of services, rather than specializing in a specific field of dentistry such as endodontics or orthodontics. While a general dentist may sometimes restrict the age of patients they will treat, a family dentist provides dental care to patients of all ages.

Family dentistry typically focuses on general dental issues, including plaque build-up, treating tooth decay, filling cavities, and ensuring excellent overall oral health. For more severe problems, a family dentist will often refer patients to a specialist who has a focus on a specific skill set.

How Pediatric Dentistry Differs

All dentists, including pediatric dentists, attend four years of dental school in addition to receiving a bachelor’s degree. Unlike general dentists, pediatric dentists undergo an additional two to three years of training. During this training period, pediatric dentists receive specialty training to educate them on dealing with children’s behaviors, how to make kids feel comfortable, and the treatment of the unique dental needs and issues of children. Pediatric dentists also receive the proper training for treating children with special needs.

A pediatric dental office tends to focus on children, and their office esthetic typically reflects this. You will likely find a play area, more kid-friendly tools that are smaller in size, and a more child-like approach to dental procedures. Because pediatric dentists typically only treat children, their experience enables them to quickly identify and solve unique issues as they relate to children.

Comparing The Advantages

When deciding between a family dental office and a pediatric dental office, it’s often helpful to look at the advantages of each.

Family Dentistry Benefits
  • Every person in your family can attend the same dental office
  • Same-day appointments can be made for the entire family
  • Multiple specialties are typically provided under one roof
  • Family dentists are generally comfortable in treating children, even without specific pediatric dentistry training
Pediatric Dentistry Benefits
  • Pediatric dentists have an additional 2-3 years of training, enabling them to specialize in treating children specifically
  • Only treating children leads them to have more experience in working directly with kids
  • A fun child-friendly environment helps to promote kids to feel relaxed
  • Smaller, more kid-friendly dental tools are used
  • Extensive knowledge of preventative care tips for children
  • Better equipped to provide optimal care for children with special needs

Making The Right Decision For Your Family

If you are feeling uncertain which is best for your child, the best thing you can do is to schedule a consultation appointment with both types of dental offices. Speaking with a quality pediatric dentist and a family dentist will allow you to see which option feels right for you and your family. Taking this step will help to give you confidence that you are making the right decision for your family’s oral health.

If you are located in the Macomb area, Hoffman Dental Care is an excellent family dentist option. We are always happy to assist you in finding the best care options for children and adults alike. Call us today to schedule a consultation where we can meet you and your child!