Welcome, Dr. Lauren Heisinger to the Where Smiles Grow Family. Click here to read more!

Specializing in dentistry for infants, children & adolescents.

General & Pediatric Dentists: What to Know

You want the best possible dental experience for your growing child. From your newborn’s first tooth to your teen’s new adult teeth, your pediatric dentist is a highly trained expert that’s ready to handle any of your child’s unique needs.

In this article, we’ll cover the differences between a pediatric and general dentist, so you can see why going to a pediatric dentist comes with lots of advantages for your child. Before we get started, let’s talk about what a pediatric dentist is.

What is a pediatric dentist?

Like a pediatrician, a pediatric dentist is specialized in the oral health of children and teenagers. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, your child should start visiting a dentist by the time their first tooth emerges, around six months of age, or no later than their first birthday. After their first visit, it’s recommended that you schedule routine dental check-ups every six months.

Let’s take the deep dive on the four main differences between pediatric and general dentists as well as the primary benefits of seeing one.

How pediatric dentists differ from general dentists!

1. More experience with children and teenagers

You know your child has their own unique needs, and so does your pediatric dentist. Unlike general dentists, pediatric dentists have more experience when it comes to treating children, and they also have more years of training than a pediatric dentist. This means that they’re more aware of how your child’s teeth are more susceptible to cavities as well as how your child’s mouth changes during the growing process.

Not only are pediatric dentists aware of your child’s physical needs, but they’re also vigilant about their emotional health as well. Pediatric dentists have specialized training and lots of experience in talking with children, handling their emotions, and helping them overcome their fears. Fun fact: As a part of their medical training, Pediatric dentists have to work in hospitals with children and deal with extreme dental cases. So, you can feel assured that you’re placing your child in good hands with a pediatric dentist.

2. Additional dental training

You may be surprised to find out that pediatric dentists specialized training. This means a pediatric dentist has to receive two more additional years of training beyond dental school. So, whereas a general dentist may have four years of dental training after receiving their bachelor’s degree, a pediatric dentist has six.

These years of additional training helps them truly understand your child’s unique needs. From child behavior to children’s physical growth, your pediatric dentist is well-trained to handle anything your child needs. Plus, a pediatric dentist’s training allows them to provide safer, more effective solutions a younger patient might experience. So, you’ll feel at ease knowing your child’s pediatric dentist is looking out for your child’s overall well-being and for their future adult smile!

3. Less scary and more fun!

Going to the dentist can be unsettling  for both kids and adults. Because pediatric dentists know this, you can rest assured that they’ll take the extra steps to make your child feel comfortable. For example, your pediatric dentist might introduce and explain each piece of equipment at a time. This will help introduce your child to the tool, so they know what it is and what to expect.

Not to mention, your pediatric dentist will use smaller dental equipment on your child compared to a general dentist. This will help your child feel comfortable during and after their visit.

The great thing about pediatric dentists is that their offices are more child-friendly! They’re great at giving kids wonderful, fun experiences, so they can help ease or erase the uneasiness of going to the dentist.

4. Help create positive dental habits

Does your child suck their thumb? If your child does this or other habits like teeth grinding, you can feel safe putting your trust in your pediatric dentist. They’ll come up with creative solutions to help your child or teenager stop habits that could cause dental issues later in life.

The Where Smiles Grow Difference: Call Today!

It’s true! Here, at Where Smiles Grow, you’ll see why we provide your child with the excellent and unique dental care they deserve. Every day, we commit ourselves to the Where Smiles Grow difference. That means actively creating a kid-friendly office and dental experience, which includes movies, coloring contests, the no cavity club, sunglasses, and so much more!

It’s our mission to provide every patient with compassionate, innovative, and quality pediatric dental care in a safe, child-friendly environment. So, go ahead and meet our wonderful team here at Where Smiles Grow! You can also find out more about our three convenient locations in Latham, Delmar, and Schodack!

If you’d like to learn more about us or our services, please give our office a call at 518-785-3911. We’d be happy to talk more about any questions you have!