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The Differences Between Family Dentists and General Dentists

March 1, 2023

Whether you’ve moved to a new place or you’re looking for more comprehensive dental care, choosing a new dentist is an important decision. In your search you may consider whether you would prefer a family dentist or a general dentist. Understanding the differences between family dentists and general dentists will help you decide which is the right kind of care for you.

What Is The Difference Between Family Dentists and General Dentists?

Both types of dentists receive extensive education and training, offer similar services, and have the goal of helping clients maintain a healthy smile. The main difference between family dentists and general dentists is the age groups that they treat. 

General dentists typically restrict their patients to a specific age, focusing on adults. Some will allow patients starting at the age of 16. On the other hand, a family dentist specializes in dental procedures for all ages, from toddlers to grandparents.

family dentistry

So whether you choose a general dentist or a family dentist ultimately depends on whether you currently have or are expecting to have a family. If you have kids of different ages, you don’t want to go all over town to meet their dental needs. With a family dentist, you can take care of your family’s dental needs in one convenient location.

Most family dental practices will make it clear that they are family-focused and accept children. If you’re researching nearby dentists and see no mention of “family” on a website, chances are they are a general dentist. For parents with very young children, it’s a good idea to ask a prospective dentist about age limits. Some family dentists begin accepting kids aged 3 or 4 years old, while others will see even younger children. 

Something else to consider is that pediatric dentists are different from family dentists in that they only see children and teens under the age of 18. The atmosphere is very child-centric to help ease dental anxiety early on. If your child doesn’t feel comfortable at the dentist, this could be a good option until they gain enough confidence to switch to the family dentist.

family dentistry

Even if you don’t have kids yet but have future plans for a family, seeing a family dentist now allows you to develop a great relationship with your dentist for the long-term.

Family dentists focus on educating patients of all ages on good oral health practices. Whether they’re teaching a toddler proper brushing techniques or showing an elderly patient the correct way to clean their dentures, family dentists will ensure you and your family members maintain good dental care habits for life.

Your Favorite Family Dentist in Michigan

At Great Expressions Dental Center, we create a positive experience for the whole family. We handle all your dental care needs in a relaxed, friendly, and comfortable environment. Contact us to learn more about the variety of services we offer or to schedule an appointment.

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