The Difference Between a Pediatric Dentist and a Family Dentist

a man and woman holding a baby and pointing at the camera with a smile on their face
Advanced Family Dentistry Dr Sonny Kim | Reston Virgina | The Difference Between a Pediatric Dentist and a Family Dentist

Choosing the right dentist is important. Not only do you need make sure you can get the high-quality dental services you need for all members of your family, you want to be able to build a long-term relationship. Having a regular dentist helps ensure and monitor your oral health throughout a lifetime.

But how do you choose the right dentist? Knowing the difference between a pediatric dentist and a family dentist helps.

 What is the Difference Between a Pediatric Dentist and a Family Dentist?

 Pediatric Dentist

A pediatric dentist specializes in working with children from infancy through their teenage years, starting with your child’s first tooth. Their training is specialized, with additional training in the needs of children’s dental care.

Often, their offices are designed to both entertain and put a young person at ease, since going to the dentist can be stressful. You may find toys, electronic games, bright colors, and comforting pictures in the waiting area and treatment rooms, along with specialized equipment designed for tiny mouths.

Family Dentist

A family dentist specializes in caring for a person’s oral health throughout every stage of their life—from infancy, through the teen years, and on into adulthood and the senior years. An additional focus is placed on dental care for kids and teenagers, to create good habits and set them up for a lifetime of success.

You may find a mixture of styles within a family dentist’s office that includes an adult waiting area and a section of the waiting area designed just for kids. Toys, video games, pint-sized chairs and tables, and colorful walls define the children’s area.

Related: Family Dental Practice: What it is and the Best Way to Find One

What is the Same Between a Pediatric Dentist and a Family Dentist?

Although there are differences in between the two types of dental offices, most of the services are the same. With a focus on general and preventive dentistry, each type of dentist provides:

  • Regular visits for teeth cleaning, examinations and x-rays, preferably every six months for all ages
  • Cavity checks and fillings to correct tooth decay
  • Root canal procedures and crowns
  • Treatment of dental emergencies
  • Fluoride treatment and sealants to prevent tooth decay, especially in children
  • Orthodontics for adults and children
  • Gum care and gum disease treatment
  • Nutritional and habit counseling

They may also provide:

  • Restorative dentistry to replace or restore missing teeth
  • Cosmetic dentistry
  • Teeth whitening
  • Dental surgery
  • Specialized dental care

The benefits of choosing a family dentist:

  • Your entire family sees the same dentist, which makes it easy for scheduling visits
  • You build trusted relationships between family members and the dental providers
  • A dental history is maintained throughout every stage in life, from infancy through senior years
  • As patients age, a family dentist can provide preparation and counseling relevant to that stage, including topics like preventive measures, nutrition, disease, tooth loss or tooth alignment

General Dentists

There’s even a third type of dentist—the general dentist. The difference here is while a family dentist provides care for all ages, a general dentist will normally limit their care to patients from older teens through adult.

Make Advanced Family Dentistry Your Family Dentist

At Advanced Family Dentistry, we put the word “Family” right into our name to let the Northern Virginia community know that we offer exceptional general and preventive dental services to family members of all ages. In addition, our office offers oral surgery for things like wisdom tooth removal, bone grafting and implants.

Now that you know the difference between a pediatric dentist and a family dentist, we’d love to become your family dentist! To schedule an appointment at our Reston, VA office, contact us at 703-390-9191.

Dr. Sonny Kim is a Diplomat of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists (ICOI), the highest education level for general dentists in this field.

Advanced Family Dentistry
Dr. Sonny Kim, DMD
11876 Sunrise Valley Dr, Suite 101
Reston, VA 20191
Phone: 703.390.9191
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