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Pediatric Dentist VS. General Dentist: Who’s the Best for Your Child


Dental care for kids is a sensitive issue for most parents. Children’s teeth are more prone to decay and cavities than adult teeth. The Center for Health and Health Care in Schools estimates kids lose over 51 million school hours every year due to dental-related illnesses.

It is concerning that 40% of children across the nation develop cavities by the time they join kindergarten. That is part of the reason why the American Dental Association recommends early dental treatment. The first appointment should preferably be within six months after the appearance of the first few teeth and no later than the child’s first birthday. But where do you take your child? To your regular general dentist or perhaps the more specialized pediatric dentists?

Pediatric Dentist Vs. General Dentist

Most general family dentists will offer dental services to both kids and adults. Rather than specializing in a specific field as an orthodontist does, they prefer to provide generalized treatment to people of all ages. Pediatric dentists, also called pediatric dentists, undergo specialized training and only handle patients under the age of 18.

What makes a pediatric dentist different?

1. Education

All dentists must attend four years of dental school in addition to their bachelor’s degree. They receive the same basic understanding and guidelines on general dentistry. Like an orthodontist, a pediatric dentist will later specialize in their field as a child dentist. Pediatric dentists attend an additional two to three-year residency training to acquire deeper knowledge on issues affecting kids. A children’s dentist can see infants as young as six months old to teenagers.

2. Equipment

Most general dentists lack dental equipment, and tools specialized for kids. Your child may struggle to keep still during the dental examination due to the uncomfortably big dental appliances in use. Pediatric dental offices specialize in dentistry for children. They will stock kid-friendly tools for every developmental stage, from infants to young adults. It ensures that your kid remains calm and comfortable throughout the dental appointment. Besides, the pediatric dentist may have kid-friendly music to keep the child engaged during the cleaning and examination.

3. Experiences

Within their two or three-year residency program, pediatric dentists acquire the necessary experience to handle different kinds of kids. Dentists for kids undergo training in communication and behavioral management to help them carry out their work effectively. They can speak to your kid on a level that your child will understand. They also teach the child the importance of good oral health and proper dental hygiene practices. Additionally, they can identify issues with your child’s bite early enough and refer you to a kid’s orthodontist.

4. Office Ambiance

Pediatric dentists go an extra step to make their dental offices appealing to children. From bright colors to characters painted all around the premises, the kid-friendly environment helps children relax before they see their dentist. The friendly and compassionate staff also contribute to creating a lively atmosphere in the office. The positive ambiance helps to keep your kid comfortable enough that they look forward to their next appointment.

Who Do You Choose?

While a general dentist will provide a certain level of care for your kids, you may miss out on specialized treatments. With their experience in dealing with children, the pediatric dentist may be quicker in identifying issues with your child’s teeth as well as their growth and recommend an orthodontist. Are you looking for a pediatric dentist in Silver Spring, MD? Dr. Camps Pediatric Dental Center offers up-to-date dental services to all kids from infancy to young adulthood!

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