If there’s one common misconception dentists are always quick to correct, it’s the idea that there’s little need to care for baby teeth that “just fall out anyway.” Around 57% of all children aged 6-11 have already had at least one cavity, which can have a significant impact on their oral health. These tiny tooth diseases can cause pain, infections, and even problems eating or speaking.
That’s why it’s crucial to make sure your children are getting quality dental care—but what should that look like? Both your local family dentist and a pediatric dentist can help care for your child’s teeth, and it’s not always easy to tell which one you need.
Let’s take a quick look at what to expect from each of these types of dentists.
What’s the Difference Between a Pediatric and a Family Dentist?
If you’re wondering about the differences between a pediatric and a family dentist, there’s one helpful thing to keep in mind: both can offer quality care to your family.
Many dentists use the term “family dentist” to indicate that, unlike other practices, they’re happy to treat the entire family from the time when a child enters elementary school. Pediatric dentists, on the other hand, are specialists in child dental care. They’ve had additional years of education to get specialized knowledge when it comes to treating young children versus treating an adult patient. In addition to this dental training, they’ll also learn more about things like child development and care for children with special needs.
Should You Visit a Pediatric or Family Dentist?
As you can see above, there’s no harm in visiting either a pediatric or family dentist. The choice comes down to your preferences and the needs of your children. Both options will offer quality dental care to the members of your family.
However, there are a few things you may want to consider as you decide where to seek dental work.
The Age of Your Child or Children
If your child is younger than six or seven, you may need to take them to a pediatric dentist, as not all family dentists will treat young children. It’s important to ask a dentist what ages they treat before making your family’s first appointments, as not all dentists will offer treatment.
Your Family Makeup
If you have several children in a wide age range, or if you want to save your family multiple trips to different professionals, a family dentist may be the better option. Choosing a family dentist allows you to bring everyone to the same dentist, and it also means you’ll have a single familiar face caring for your children’s needs as they become teens and young adults.
Your Sedation Needs
If you have a young child with dental anxiety, seeking a pediatric dentist may be your best bet. These specialists can offer medication even to their youngest patients.
Oral Surgery Options
If you’re seeking intensive child dental care, a pediatric dentist will be more likely to help. Family dentists may not perform complex treatment themselves, therefore, they will refer you to a specialist to ensure you are taken care of.
Make the Most of Your Family’s Oral Health
Whether you decide to visit a family dentist or a pediatric dentist, it’s important to take care of your family’s oral health. Depending on your family makeup and your preferences, you may want to choose one over the other when scheduling an appointment.
If you’d like to make sure you’re putting your family’s health in good hands, the trusted family dental team at Integrity Dental can help. To learn more about our expert care, get in touch today.