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Should My Child See a Pediatric Dentist?
January 29, 2020

Mom holding daughter Dental Care Center

Children are most commonly treated by general dentists who have been treating the entire family, but should your child be seeing a pediatric dentist while still in development? A pediatric dentist treats children from infancy through the teenage years and is particularly helpful with special needs children and adults. A pediatric dentist is just like a general dentist when it comes to preventative dentistry, regular cleanings, and treatments (cavity sealant). While a pediatric dentist performs the same tasks as a general dentist, there are a few aspects that differ.

General Dentist

  • Well-established relationship with entire family
  • Preventative dentistry (cleanings twice a year, X-rays, fluoride)
  • Repair tooth cavities
  • Diagnose and treat oral conditions associated with disease (diabetes)

Pediatric Dentist

  • Two or three additional years of training with an emphasis on child psychology, growth and development
  • Focus on certain age group (1-18)
  • Preventative dentistry (cleanings twice a year, X-rays, fluoride)
  • Habit counseling (pacifier and thumb sucking)
  • Orthodontics
  • Repair tooth cavities
  • Treat dental development difficulties (root canals on adult teeth that are not fully formed)
  • Management of conditions (pediatric periodontal disease, tongue-tie)

There is no right or wrong practice when it comes to using a general dentist or a pediatric dentist, but there are benefits to using a pediatric dentist and then switching to a general when the time comes. When deciding whether or not your child should see a pediatric dentist during the ages of development, take into account the additional benefits that go along with having a dentist who specializes in a specific age group compared to the benefit of having an established relationship with the family and child.

If you are asking yourself “should my child see a pediatric dentist?”, the decision comes down to personal preference. Both general and pediatric dentists are a good option for your child.