What’s the Difference Between Children’s and Family Dentists?

As a parent, ensuring your child's dental hygiene is crucial, and finding the right dentist for your child may seem overwhelming. Two types of dental professionals you must have come across during your search are children's dentists and family dentists. While both types of dentists specialize in dental care for children, they differ in some significant ways. This post will compare the two and help you determine which one might be the best fit for your child.

Training and Qualifications

One of the key differences between children's and family dentists is their level of education and the dental services they offer. A children's dentist, also known as a pediatric dentist, has an additional couple of years of specialty training beyond dental school and focuses exclusively on dental care for infants, children, and teenagers. In contrast, family dentists specialize in providing dental care to patients of all ages, including children. While they're trained to provide pediatric dental care, their training and specialization may not be as extensive as that of a children's dentist.

Office Environment

Children's and family dentists have different approaches to the office environment. Children dentists tailor their offices for children, creating a fun and playful atmosphere that helps put the child at ease. They use smaller dental equipment, such as child-friendly toothbrushes and suction tips, and often have televisions and toys in the waiting room. In contrast, family dental offices cater to patients of all ages and do not offer such amenities. They typically have larger equipment and a more conventional office environment.

Services Offered

Another significant difference between children's and family dentists is the range of services they offer. Children's dentists focus mostly on preventing and treating tooth decay in children through services such as fluoride treatments, cleanings, fillings, and sealants. They're also trained to offer emergency dental care for children. In contrast, family dentists offer a broader range of dental services, such as extractions, root canals, and cosmetic dentistry procedures like teeth whitening. They provide routine checkups and cleanings for patients of all ages, including children.

Communication Style

Children require a different approach to dental care from that provided to adults. Children's dentists know how to communicate with children effectively to make their dental visits more comfortable and help them feel secure. They explain the procedures in a kid-friendly manner, use positive reinforcement and rewards, and offer comforting words. On the other hand, family dental offices are less child-focused than their pediatric counterparts, and their dentists communicate with children in a more straightforward way.

For more info, contact a local children's dentist