Choosing a Pediatric Dentist vs General Dentist

dentist and child viewing x-ray

Congratulations! Your baby’s first tooth just popped out! Your little ones grow so quickly, it’s easy for their milestones to sneak up on you. However, when the time comes to take your child to the dentist for the first time, research in advance what type of practice is best for your family. Whether their children are toddlers or teenager parents constantly evaluate the differences and similarities between a pediatric dentist vs a general dentist.

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, you should take your child to a dentist every six months because children are especially susceptible to cavities due to the fact that they’re still learning to take care of their teeth and gums properly. According to the Center for Disease Control, almost one out of every five children in America between the ages of five and 19 have untreated dental caries (typically called cavities). This number is staggering. How can you assist your child in helping them try not to become part of that statistic? The first necessary step is to choose by between a pediatric dentist vs a general dentist.

Of course, general dentists do a wonderful job in treating their patients. However, a pediatric dentist can help your child in ways that a general dentist simply cannot. When you’re trying to decide whether your child should visit a pediatric dentist vs a general dentist, consider the advantages that pediatric dentists have.

Specialized Training

In the United States, all dentists must graduate from a school of dentistry in order to practice. This grueling process helps prepare the student for a career as a dentist in many important ways. You can be sure that if you’re visiting a licensed dentist, you’re going to receive care from someone who has received an extensive amount of training. You may wonder, however, whether that training enough to prepare a dentist to meet the needs of a child.

One of the differences in the training of a pediatric dentist vs a general dentist is in the additional coursework they complete. After graduating from dental school, a potential pediatric dentist has an additional two to three years of specialized training they must finish. This helps them learn the nuances of working with children and their evolving needs. Whether your child needs infant oral care or they’re old enough to think about college, your pediatric dentist will know exactly what they need to have the best possible smile.

Specialized Offices

When a child walks into a traditional dentist’s office, they can find the surroundings overwhelming. In fact, they can be overwhelming for adults too! However, as grownups, we are accustomed to the stress of dental work. That’s usually not the case for a child.

As soon as you step into a pediatric dentist’s office, you’ll see a major difference between a pediatric dentist vs a general dentist. Consider some of these things that make pediatric dentist offices unique:

  • In a traditional dentist’s office lobby, there’s typically a pile of magazine’s that few people are interested in, and they’re likely months old even if you do want to read them. Not so in a pediatric dentist’s office! The lobby is designed specifically for fun, with games and toys available to take your child’s mind off their upcoming checkup.
  • In a general dentist’s office, the decor is often neutral, bordering on drab. The pediatric dentist’s office is different. It’s filled with bright colors and fun decorations on the walls. The design will likely remind children of their bedrooms, helping put them at ease.
  • The tools that a pediatric dentist uses are often different compared to those of a general dentist. Everything is designed for small teeth, small mouths, and small bodies. This will also encourage children to relax.

These differences may seem small to you, but to your child, they may well mean the difference between an appointment they dread and an appointment they’ll love!

child pediatric dentist examination

Specialized Staff

Of course, you can’t overstate the differences between teams that work at a pediatric dentist vs a general dentist. Because the pediatric dentist and their staff work with children all day, they are uniquely qualified to help your child and meet their needs. Their first priority is your child’s well-being. They know how to help a child who’s a bit scared about getting a filling, console a baby who’s crying, or encourage a teenager who may feel awkward at the prospect of getting braces. They work with children because it’s their passion, and that commitment shows!

Toothfairy Pediatric Dental Is Your Choice in Reno

If you live in Reno, Gardnerville, Sparks, Fernley, or Sun Valley, we have good news! Toothfairy Pediatric Dental is just the office you’ve been looking for. Our dedicated staff wants to help your child achieve the best smile possible. Our five locations are close to where you live, and we have convenient appointment times to fit your busy schedule. We even take appointments on Saturday.

Our warm and comforting offices will help your child feel right at home the minute they step through the door. You’ll feel good as well, as many of our staff members are bilingual and can converse with you in English or Spanish. Our office takes most forms of dental insurance, and we also accept Medicaid. We’ll make it easy as possible for your child to get the care they deserve.

You can download our new patient packet (available in both English and Spanish) to get a head start on your child’s treatments. To schedule your appointment, call today at (775) 909-4356 or contact us online. Once you choose Toothfairy’s pediatric dentists vs a general dentist, you’ll be glad you did!