They go to school and you go to work. You drive the car and they ride in it. You and your kids do different things, but do you need different dentists? Pediatric dentists vs. general dentists: Does your family need both?
Pediatric Dentists vs. General Dentists
- Training: Pediatric dentists have 2-3 years additional training immediately following dental school. This specialized schooling focuses on child psychology and development.
- Patients: General dentists will treat patients of all ages, while pediatric dentists only see children.
- Experience: Because pediatric dentists exclusively work with pint-sized patients, they are well versed in interacting with infants and children with special needs. They also provide counseling for habits like thumb-sucking and extended pacifier use.
See 2 dentists if your child…
- …is scared. Pediatric offices are designed with kids in mind. This alone can make an anxious child feel more at ease.
- …has special needs including autism, Down syndrome, cleft palate or any of these conditions.
Stick to 1 general dentist if your family…
- …has a longstanding relationship with a specific dentist.
- …has older children. Tweens and teens are more patient than little kids. They know what to expect and are open to new environments.
Still not sure?
Ask your child’s pediatrician for recommendations. You can also search for pediatric dentists in your insurance network.