If you just read the title and went, “Wait. There’s a difference between a family dentist and a general dentist?” don’t worry. You’re not alone. Most people aren’t aware that family and general dentists are separate. While the overall functionality is the same, there’s a slight difference between the two.
Read on to find out where the line in the sand is, and what dentist works best for you.
What is The Difference between A Family Dentist and A General Dentist?
It’s fairly simple. Both family and general dentists have the same education. 3 years of undergraduate study, followed by 4 years of dental school. After graduation, they qualify and are licensed to work as a dentist. Now, the separating point between the two is that a general dentist will probably restrict their patient list to a specific age group. A family dentist, however, takes care of patients of all ages.
If your local general dentist sees patients above the age of 16, and you have a 10-year-old, it would mean that you would have to have separate dentists for separate members of your family. This can get tedious over time.
Does A Family Dentist Provide Distinct Services?
Not really. While the basic services provided by both dentists are the same, a family dentist is more qualified to address the needs of two extreme ages – the kids and the elderly. This makes convenience the biggest plus point when it comes to family dentistry. No more shuffling from one place to another. Did we mention you’ll probably be saving on gas too? Just pack everybody in your car and drive over.
Family dentists provide multiple services and also specialize in procedures relative to all ages. This also is an added advantage. Some of the services a family dentist provides include, but are not limited to –
- Thorough examinations of the hard and soft structures of the oral cavity, including digital X-rays, should the need arise.
- Regular professional cleanings, to prevent plaque buildup and gum disease.
- Preventative services such as fluoride treatments and sealants for toddlers (to reduce the risk of cavities).
- Orthodontic treatment for adolescents and adults to correct any misalignment of teeth.
- Introduction of habit-breaking appliances in patients with habits such as mouth breathing, thumb sucking, jaw clenching, tongue thrusting, etc.
- Restorative services like amalgam and composite fillings, root canal treatments, dental crowns, dental bridges, etc.
- Prosthodontic treatments such as dentures for senior patients.
- Surgical interventions like extractions.
- Cosmetics dentistry procedures like teeth whitening, smile makeovers, veneers, etc.
Why Should I Prefer Going To A Family Dentist?
Family dentists offer added advantages over general dentists. Some of them are listed below.
Convenience: This is perhaps the biggest plus point of visiting a family dentist. Multiple members in a family equal multiple age groups, which also equals separate dental visits. With a family dentist, you won’t have to be rushing from one office to another to meet your appointments. Instead, all you will have to do is call us at Le Sueur and book multiple appointments for everyone who requires a quick visit.
An array of Services: We covered this previously. A family dentist means that you’re getting a huge variety of treatments under one roof – like a one-stop-shop. So whether it’s a routine exam, a professional cleaning session, a follow-up, or a dedicated treatment, you just have to show up at our office and breathe easy.
Family Histories: When a family dentist is responsible for multiple members of a single-family, they are updated with the family history. This translates into the dentist being alert and on the look-out for any hereditary conditions that might run in the household. For example, parents who have had occlusion issues when they were younger will possibly pass them along to their kids. In such a case, the dentist will figure out the perfect time to intervene to prevent any future orthodontic problems in the younger ones. Family histories are also imperative in deciding what treatment to go for since certain treatments like surgeries require updated medical histories before proceeding. Another example is the screening for oral cancer.
Great for Kids: A family dentist is trained in meticulously dealing with tiny humans. When children visit the same dentist as their older siblings or parents, they tend to develop faith in the dentist. This goes a long way in ensuring the kid grows up practicing healthy oral habits and also takes care of any uneasiness the child might feel towards the dentist. They will also pay attention to any advice the dentist offers, and follow the same. Additionally, with a family dentist, long-lasting relationships are formed since the child can visit the same practitioner as an adult.
Dental Education: Family dentists pay specific attention to imparting knowledge regarding healthy dental practices, teeth cleaning, caring for restorations and dentures, nutritional requirements, etc. This is particularly important when it comes to counseling kids on how to brush their teeth, and avoiding habits that are detrimental to oral health in the future like smoking, chewing tobacco, etc. When the entire family sits down to learn how to take care of their oral health, chances are everyone, especially kids, will be extra cautious about keeping their teeth and gums healthy.
Is Le Sueur Family Dental For Me and My Family?
At Le Sueur Family Dental we are committed to making sure that aside from top-notch treatment options and results, your visit is comfortable. This means we take our time walking you through what a procedure entails and what you should expect. Our staff is also expertly skilled in handling and dealing with patients of all ages. So don’t fret about your child freaking out – we’re here to make sure they have a grin on their face when they leave.
To book an appointment (or multiple!), call us at (507) 665-6812 today. Additionally, we also have our in-house family dental plan so you’re not worrying about all those pesky expenses. We’ve got you covered!