When it comes to finding a trusted dentist for your child, we understand the process can be stressful. While there are many similarities in the services that pediatric and family dentists provide, there are also some key differences in the longevity of care.
Main Differences Between Pediatric and Family Dentists
One of the main differences between a pediatric dentist vs. a family dentist is that pediatrics often perform hospital dentistry. Hospital dentistry is used for children who are not compliant during care and require IV sedation medication to put them to “sleep” during procedures. This process of care would be completed all during one appointment at the hospital. These cases are infrequent, but they do require a specialized pediatric dentist. As a family dentist, our team at OHA does not take on cases like this.
When it comes to children who need sedation during their visits, our family dentistry method of care focuses on using nitrous oxide or “laughing gas” for sedation in our office. It is less expensive, easy to use, and the side effects wear off quickly. While the use of “laughing gas” still relies on some compliance from the child, we can generally earn trust with even the most anxious child over time to complete the care they need.
The other main difference between the two is that pediatric dentists solely focus on infants, children, and young adolescents during the early stages of their life. This level of care only concentrates on a short time frame of their developing oral health rather than their continued long-term health. Once a child grows into their teenage years, they will have to find a new dentist.
Benefits of a Family Dentist
Something we always emphasize at Oral Health Associates is continuity of care. At our office, children can be seen right alongside their siblings, parents, and grandparents, all at the same trusted place. They do not need to start over at another office and with an unfamiliar dentist at 18. Our office is inclusive and provides care for all ages and levels of oral health.
Pediatric treatment (along with periodontics, oral surgery, endodontics, etc.) is one of many specialty treatment areas we provide. Our office is proud to offer comprehensive care allowing the patient to get specialized procedures performed all in one place. We can also schedule family appointments together so everyone can come at once and eliminate the hassle of scheduling multiple appointments throughout the week. This tailored all-in-one level of family care can make all the difference in maintaining your family’s oral health.
Family Dentist Approach to Oral Health & Treatment
When it comes to children and their teeth, we are dealing with constant change. Kids are growing, getting teeth, losing teeth, and then dealing with the growth of their permanent teeth. During this process, it is essential for a child to learn how to take care of their teeth independently and understand the value of good oral hygiene. We feel that working with children can be some of the most rewarding dentistry we provide. We approach pediatric care with the understanding that it doesn’t have to stop at 18, and we can maintain a perspective on where they will head into adulthood.
It is undoubtedly more convenient for the parents to bring the whole family in at once. Establishing a dental home early builds rapport and comfort that can enable easier care in the future. It also helps children to know Mom and Dad are right there with them doing the same things they are. Often the children will sit in on other family members’ cleanings and understand the process before they start themselves.
Family Dentistry Equals Generational Care
Facilitating a successful transition for treating patients from childhood to adulthood is something our office strives for. We know that visits to the dentist can be stressful and already uncomfortable for children and some adults. Starting over at an unfamiliar office can only heighten those anxieties. Because continuity of care is the most valuable thing you can do for your oral hygiene, making sure children are comfortable with their dentist is incredibly important.
Our office has successfully seen multiple generations of families for decades. We are proud to see grandparents and grandchildren come in together, and love knowing that we’re providing the same great care to an entire family tree. Being a part of the family connection and relationships is important to us, and that connection is why so many families continue to come back.
Finding a great family dentist that the whole family will love doesn’t have to be complicated. Schedule an appointment today with Oral Health Associates or reach out at (920) 437-3376 for more information.