For parents trying to find the right dentist for their child, it is hard to know where to start. There are both family dentists as well as pediatric dentists, both of which will see children. In order for a parent to determine whether to send their child for Houston pediatric dentistry or family dentistry work, it is important to see the difference in these dentistry professions.
The Amount of Schooling
Obviously both family and pediatric dentists need to go to dentistry school. The difference though is that while a family dentist ends their schooling with dentistry school a pediatric dentist will continue their education. There are two to three years of specialized training required for a dentist to become a pediatric dentist to ensure they can offer the best care to the children they see.
The Type of Patients They Accept
A family dentist will accept patients of any age. Whether it is a toddler for their first appointment or an elderly patient getting their teeth pulled for dentures, it is all done in the one office. A pediatric dentist on the other hand will limit the patients they see to only children. Generally they will see patients through adolescence but once they reach adulthood they will find another dentist that treats adults, maybe even a family dentist.
The Specialties of the Dentist
For the most part, a family dentist is only considered a primary dentist. They do not usually specialize in other areas. A pediatric dentist on the other hand can be both a primary and a specialty dentist for children. They may not specialize in everything, such as orthodontics, but they will generally have something else to offer aside from just primary dentistry. This can allow children to be more comfortable with the specialists they see as they already know them.
It is also worth noting that a pediatric dentist will generally have a more child friendly office for children, which can help eliminate fear. Since all they see are children, the office can have a kid friendly feel to it. The staff are generally trained in handling children to help them feel less fearful. When you combine this with gentle techniques learned with the specialized training, it can make for a better office experience than going to a traditional dentist office which is what most family dentists offer.