Family Dentistry

Family Dentistry

Family dentistry is a phrase that many people are familiar with, as a great many general dentists promote their practices as “family dental” offices. General dentistry is centered around the basic procedures that keep the oral systems healthy. Most general dentistry practices offer routine cleanings, fillings, crowns and bridges, and more. The scope of procedures provided varies from office to office. General dentistry is an essential service, as it prevents major dental issues from developing. General dentists advise that patients visit their office every 6 months for a routine cleaning and examination. For patients who already have developed dental issues, more frequent visits may be necessary.

Family dentists, although technically general dentists, are slightly different. Family dentists may offer a wider range of procedures, each of which is tailored to patients of all ages. Many general dentists choose to refer children and adolescents to a pediatric dentist, also known as a pedodontist. Family dentists, on the other hand, usually offer treatment to children and adults alike. Because children require special dental considerations, family dentists have expanded treatment options. The advantage of a qualified family dentist is the ability to avoid visiting specialists and keep an entire household’s care in the hands of a single practitioner.

Pedodontists are dental specialists who have received advanced training in the treatment of infants, children, and teenagers. These dentists focus almost exclusively on treating children and rarely accept older patients. The development of dentition in young children is highly correlated to the health of their adult teeth. For that reason, pedodontists strive to ensure that primary teeth remain healthy and dislodge only when it is healthy to do so. In the instance that baby teeth must be extracted, pedodontists may prescribe spacers, devices which maintain the empty space so that permanent teeth can emerge normally. Pedodontists sometimes offer orthodontic treatment, as well, since many children are in need of tooth alignment and palate expansion.

Becoming a family dentist entails four years of dental school following four years of undergraduate education. Although no residency is required, many aspiring family dentists choose to complete optional residency programs. These are an excellent way to expand one’s knowledge and clinical skills and offers experience that helps family dentists tailor their treatment to patients with diverse needs. Family dentists often take continuing education courses in order to keep their skills sharp and learn new procedures.

Pedodontics is one of several distinct dental specialties, and requires several additional years of training following dental school. Pedodontists spend their extra years of training learning the intricacies of primary teeth development. Perhaps more importantly, pediatric dentists are highly adept at communicating with young children and easing the anxiety that many young patients have. It is for that reason that most general dentists refer children to certified pedodontists. Many pedodontic practices also include orthodontists, as treatments such as braces are among the most common for children. Choosing the right family dentists as well as an experienced pedodontist can keep your entire family healthy smiling for years to come.