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General, Family, or Pediatric Dentist: What’s The Difference?

Having a family means having the best dental care possible. When having children, it can be challenging to discern whether to choose a general dentist, family dentist, or pediatric dentist for your family’s dental care. As your family grows, we’re here to explain the differences between these specialties, how they impact your dental care, and which type would work best for you. 

What’s The Difference Between General, Family, and Pediatric? 

Every dentist can provide good quality dental care, but each dentist will have their focus or specialty to help treat all sorts of ailments and conditions. Specialists like cosmetic dentists will focus on a general desire or concept around their dental care. In contrast, others, such as endodontists, will focus on treatments tailored to specific areas of the tooth. 

Understanding which type of dentists will suit your family’s needs is the key to choosing the right pediatric, family, or general dentist for life. Each type presented here will have its core principles on preventative care, treatment models, and diagnostic testing, and finding which one will work best for you will help you determine what care you need the most. 

  • General Dentists: General dentists focus on the core basics of dental care. They focus on providing care for young adults and adults, routine visits, and dental cleanings, and act as your primary care provider. General dentists can treat anyone due to their range of treatment options and offer a variety of services such as crowns, Invisalign, dentures, and implants. However, these dentists only sometimes offer treatments for children if they have certain specialties as part of their background. 
  • Family Dentists: Family dentists are considered a subtype of general dentists focusing on providing care for all ages. Because their focus is families, they’re more focused on treatments that can be provided for all stages of life. They’re often considered the ‘lifetime’ dentist because most families can create family plans for dental treatments and build strong relationships with these practices. Children can grow with these dentists as part of their lives and continue to see them for as long as possible, and continue care for future generations. 
  • Pediatric Dentists: Dentists tend to focus on children and teenagers, but this narrow focus is excellent for those with special dental concerns. This also includes those with special needs, dental anxiety, and complex pediatric dental health concerns. Pediatric dentists can handle corner cases that occur during childhood and focus on a variety of treatments to improve their overall growth as they reach adulthood. However, because of their limited scope of treatments, parents and adults will need to organize their care with other dentists to receive care. 

Find the Right Dentist For You Today

Your specialist should be chosen based on your needs as a person, as a parent, and as a family. All choices presented here can be attractive solutions, but it all depends on the factors in your life for choosing your form of care. If you’d like to learn more about what forms of care will suit your family best, make sure to schedule an appointment with a general, family, or pediatric dentist today to learn more about your options. 

Maureen Karl, DDS, FAGD
As a graduate of the University of Buffalo School of Dental Medicine in 2004, Dr. Maureen Karl continues to hone her craft through continuing education. Dental patients throughout the Granbury, TX area know they can rely on our practice for skilled dental care using the latest practices.