Healthy teeth and gums are important throughout all stages of life, from childhood and adolescence right up to adulthood. Visiting the dentist should be a normal part of life, beginning when toddlers’ primary teeth begin to erupt. But finding a dentist your children can grow to trust isn’t so easy, especially for children and teens that are already anxious about dental visits.
Many parents believe their options consist of either a general dentistry or a pediatric dentistry, not realizing there’s a third option with a number of combined advantages: a family dentistry.
Let’s take a look at what exactly family dentistry is and why a family dental practice is a wonderful choice for families with children of all ages.
Not sure what the difference is between these three types of dental practices? Don’t worry; here’s a brief rundown of how they compare.
The most common type of dental practice is a general dentistry. A general dentist is a broad term used to describe a dentist who offers traditional care services to adults. The dentist may have his/her own specialties, such as cosmetic dentistry services or orthodontics.
While some general dentists may see young patients, you can expect the average general dentistry office to only accept patients over the age of 16.
A pediatric dentist is very similar to a general dentist, but they focus their care on children of all ages, from toddler years to late adolescence. A pediatric dentist may also offer their own specialized services, depending on extra training they may have undergone.
While most pediatric dentists see patients right up until they are 18, many teenagers will naturally want to switch to a more “grown-up” office in high school or even while still in junior high.
A family dentistry is unique in that it’s a perfect combination of general and pediatric dentistry. An experienced family dental practice will offer comprehensive dental care to everyone in your family, from your infant who just got their first tooth to grandparents who need senior dental care.
There are a lot of reasons why a family dentist is a wonderful choice over a general or pediatric dentist.
Let’s take a closer look at a few big advantages of opting for a family dentist.
It’s completely normal for kids to feel a bit nervous or anxious about dental visits, especially if it’s still a fairly new process to them. Older kids might also experience nervousness due to past experiences that weren’t pleasant.
A big advantage of a family dentist is that you’ll either have the same exact dentist as your kids or you will have a dentist on the same team. By sharing the same dental practice and dentist, children are more likely to relax as opposed to going to a pediatric dental office where everyone is new and unfamiliar.
You can even ask your dentist if your child can accompany you on your check-up to show them there’s nothing to worry about. This is a wonderful idea for very young kids who will start seeing a dentist soon.
Even if your teenager is still a child in your eyes, chances are they will want to experience more independence as they get older. As mentioned earlier, pediatric dentists don’t have an age limit until the age of 18, but the average teen is likely going to want to stop going to a “kid’s dentist” once they hit 14+ yrs of age.
By opting for family dentistry, your teen will be able to feel more independent and like they’re being treated as an adult rather than a child. Better yet, if your teen develops a very good relationship with his/her dentist, there’s no age limit to worry about. Your teen can continue visiting the same family dentist into adulthood.
A family dental office is more of a quiet and relaxed atmosphere compared to many pediatric dental offices. Pediatric dental offices are designed with their primary patient in mind: kids! This often means the lobby can be somewhat noisy and over-stimulating for adults and kids alike.
First Dental Associates designed its lobby with families in mind. Take a look at a virtual office tour, and you’ll see a welcoming reception area suitable for all ages. There’s also reading material available for all ages to help keep kids entertained while they wait for their appointment. You’ll also find television screens in the exam rooms to help put nervous kids (and adults!) at ease.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of all is the convenience of everyone in your family being able to visit the same dental practice. This saves busy parents a lot of time when it comes to scheduling appointments for multiple kids and themselves. It also eliminates the stress of finding dentists for everyone in the family, including researching different practices, seeing if they accept your current insurance, and other potential hassles.
While some specialty procedures may still require a referral, you can rest assured that the vast majority of traditional dental services will be performed at a single location. First Dental Associates provides a wide range of services for its patients, including preventive, restorative, cosmetic, and orthodontic dentistry.
Ensuring everyone in your family is taking proper care of their teeth is important for maintaining overall health and instilling good dental care habits. A family dentist plays a vital role in helping your family achieve bright, happy smiles while also addressing existing oral health concerns before they become serious problems.
First Dental Associates has a team of family dentists and dental assistants ready and waiting to help you and your children get on the right track. Not only do they offer complete dental care for all ages, but they also offer evening and Saturday hours to help busy parents make appointments around their already-packed schedules.
If you’re ready to make First Dental Associates your family’s new family dental practice, get in touch with the team to learn more about becoming a new patient. You can also visit the New Patients webpage.