Difference Between General and Pediatric Dentistry

Difference Between General and Pediatric Dentistry

May 01, 2022

Regardless of the dentist you wish to visit, the chief goal is always to ensure that the patient’s oral health and smile are in tip-top shape. But now that we have advanced dental technology and a better understanding of how the human body works at every stage of life, we have specialized dentists like our very own Dr. Eros Chaves.

That’s why there are pediatric dentists, orthodontists, etc. But there’s a marked difference between a general or family dentist and a pediatric dentist. Pediatric dentistry in Sarasota is designed primarily to care for young and developing teeth as opposed to the already developed teeth.

Can Adults Go to a Pediatric Dentist?

You might have taken your kid to visit our pediatric dentist near you and just wondered whether you could also squeeze in an appointment. It is a genuine query since not all pediatric dentists see adult patients.

At the same time, it is understandable for you to wonder if a pediatric dentist could treat you since most parents are seeking to save time whenever the opportunity arises. Having a pediatric dentist near you who can see you and your child could be very beneficial. It is tiring trying to juggle school, work, and dental appointments.

So, the short answer to the above question is that some pediatric dentists may see adults, while others opt not to.

So, you might be wondering what the big deal is. Are pediatric dentists different from general dentists? You will get to know the difference in just a short while.

Pediatric dentists mostly deal with patients who are between 0 and 18 years. Rarely will they treat patients who are between 20 and 22 years. Children usually opt to transition to a family dentist once they reach adolescence because the atmosphere and decor of the pediatric dental office near you are designed for younger patients.

Don’t think that a pediatric dentist cannot solve or is unfamiliar with adult dental issues. Pediatric dentists are well-capable of dealing with dental issues that are plaguing adults.

Pediatric Dentist vs. General Dentist

General dentists can at times be referred to as family dentists, especially when the dentist treats patients of all ages. For you to know the main difference between a pediatric dentist and a general dentist, you must understand the qualifications of each dentist.

A general dentist goes to dental school and earns a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) degree after four years. In other words, this means that the dentist has completed four years of undergraduate education and four years of dental school. The four years in dental school involve in-class training and hands-on learning.

General dentists usually have no dental specialty, hence the name. You can think of a general dentist as a primary care physician, meaning they can offer most dental procedures but will not specialize in any.

Even though family dentists can treat children, they have not specialized in pediatric dentistry. But it doesn’t mean that they cannot provide excellent care to patients of all ages; they actually can. The only issue is that they don’t have the depth of knowledge and training in kid’s dentistry as a pediatric dentist.

If we can look at a general dentist as a primary care physician, then a pediatric dentist can be viewed as a pediatrician. Pediatric dentists have specialized in caring for developing teeth and gums. The primary focus for pediatric dentists is kids – from toddlers to teenagers.

A pediatric dentist also has to obtain a four-year undergraduate education. Plus, they need four years in dental school to obtain either a DDS or DMD degree. Then, they go a step further. They go through a post-graduate pediatric residency program that usually runs for about three years.

The three years are essential since the pediatric dentist gains in-depth knowledge about kid’s dentistry. Therefore, the focus will be on pediatric sedation, orthodontics, development, and even child psychology.

Once a pediatric dentist is through with training, they must complete the last step to pass the state examinations and requirements. When they pass, they will receive a certification, which means that they can now treat children.

If you need dental care, you can come to our dental office in Sarasota, Tarpon Shores Dental – St. Armands.