No matter what kind of dentist you go to see, the end goal is always the same: ensure that the patient has a healthy and beautiful smile. However, thanks to improved technology and a better understanding of how our bodies work at different stages in our life, there are specialized dentists who are experts in different dental realms. Did you know that there are both general dentists and pediatric dentists? Today we are here to discuss the difference between the two and why having both present at our dental offices in the Chicago area is a must.
While general dentists see both adults and children alike, a pediatric dentist is solely specialized in oral health for children. A pediatric dentist has a specialized degree (DDS or DMD first, then 2 years of residency training in pediatric dentistry) in understanding, diagnosing, and treating the oral health issues of children. Children as young as six months can begin to see a pediatric dentist, and they can continue to see a pediatric dentist until they are teenagers. As a general rule of thumb, many individuals will turn 18 and switch from a pediatric dentist to a general dentist. At this stage in life, children’s mouths and teeth are almost fully developed and they have often undergone orthodontics.
Pediatric dentists also have specialized equipment that is meant to fit the size of toddler’s mouths in order to reduce uncomfortable procedures such as routine teeth cleaning or x-rays. Children’s dentists — such as our own here at All Star Dental — also have a calm demeanor and nurturing personality which helps keep kids relaxed during their appointments. All of the staff on hand are trained to deal with children who also may have issues with sitting still or those who are outwardly refusing to receive treatment while in office.
A pediatric dentist understands that every child’s oral healthcare needs and different, which means a custom treatment or preventative plan for each individual in a kid-friendly environment. Children’s dentists may also need to provide emergency dental services in the event that a child has a dental injury from rough-housing or playing sports. All Star Dental is on call and capable of providing emergency dental services to both children and adults.
As for general dentists, they will pick up the baton right where your pediatric dentist left off! At this stage, most individuals are young adults and are looking to undergo wisdom tooth removal, cosmetic improvements such as teeth whitening or dental crowns and other procedures. General dentists are also here to ensure that individuals have carried over good oral healthcare practices from childhood to adulthood. Our family dentist in the Chicago area will work with adults to make any additional improvements to their smile as well as work to prevent or treat cavities, gum disease and other oral health issues.
Need a local pediatric or general dentist that you can rely on and trust? Contact All Star Dental today to schedule an appointment!