What is the Difference Between a Family Dentist and a General Dentist

General DentistWe are regularly asked what it means to be a general dentist and family dentist and whether there is a difference between the two.  When it comes to visiting the dentist, know that initially all dentists receive the same type of general education in order to receive their license.  After this point is when the differences really start to show.  Some dentists will then specialize in a certain type of dentistry, specific dental procedures or the treatment of a set demographic of patients.  When it is time for you to select a new dentist, you need to ask questions to be certain that the provider you are speaking with offers the type of care that you and your family need.  For example, some dentists go on to become oral surgeons and do not offer preventative care.  Others may specialize in periodontics if you ever need a treatment for gum disease.  These are the subtle nuances that you should ask a dentist about.  As for our office, we are a family dentist providing both cosmetic and general dentistry services.

All ages welcome –

When you are looking for a new dentist, make sure that they treat the ages represented within your family.  Not all dentists treat all ages.  As a family dentist, we can treat both you and your children so that it is as easy as possible for you to receive ongoing dental care.  This allows you to schedule appointments on one day at one location, rather than taking everyone to different places across town.  Very often, a general dentist will only treat adults so this can eliminate the option of your children receiving care from the same place.  In fact, this is the first significant difference between a family dentist and a general dentist that you need to watch for.

Our atmosphere is welcoming.

Many parents that we have spoken with used to have a general dentist and switched to our family dentist office because they needed a warmer and more welcoming environment for their family.  This can come up because if children are tagging along to mom's dental cleaning, they need to have toys to play with and be in an office that welcomes them.  If it feels too quiet or too “grown-up” it  can make even adult appointments more difficult for parents.  Our office and our staff understand this and work to ensure that both patients and guests feel relaxed and comfortable in our office, whether they are having work done at that moment or not.

We focus on education and prevention.

As a family dentist, we understand how important education is for preventing oral health problems.  We work to inform our patients regarding what they can do to maintain healthy teeth for a lifetime.  Things like showing patients how to brush and floss properly are key to ensuring that they get a good cleaning at home.  Discussing how to have a mouth-healthy diet and what foods or drinks to avoid, is also part of this process.  While a general dentist may provide some patient education, it is a key focus of our dental practice.

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