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Do Your Kids Need a Pediatric Dentist?

By Caroline Jacobson on August 1, 2017 in Dental Health

Pediatric Dentist vs. General Dentist

They go to school and you go to work. You cook dinner and they enjoy 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 young patients, they are skilled at 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 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 young kids. They know what to expect and may be 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.