What are the differences between a Pediatric Dentist and a General Dentist?

What are the differences between a Pediatric Dentist and a General Dentist?

Most families have a family dentist and a pediatric dentist for their children. However, not many understand the difference between the two. A pediatric dentist had the same basic training as a dentist, but they have to train for additional years to specialize in pediatric dentistry. During the extra training, they learn how to deal with problems affecting a developing mouth. During this period, they learn how to handle children with special needs. Pediatric dentists offer primary and specialty oral care for infants and children until they reach adolescence.

To gain a deeper understanding of the difference between a pediatric dentist and a general dentist keep reading.


For a general dentist to be a pediatric dentist, he has to complete a minimum of two years of full residency training where he learns all matters concerning pediatric dentistry and surgery. During the two years intensive pediatric training they learn;
• Treatment of special needs and those medically compromised children
• Managing developmental and growth issues relating to the mouth, jaw, face, and head
• Treating children under sedation and anesthesia
• Preventative and invasive oral care for children
During this period, the dentist gets to hone his skills of providing dental care with least trauma and in the most child-friendly and sensitive way.

Have more experience with children

Pediatric dentists choose to work with children because they enjoy it. They get to work with children every day all day meaning they keenly understand how they can best make kids feel comfortable. They also know how to explain different procedures to kids and make them understand. During their two years of residency, they learn child psychology and development so they can best treat their little patients.

Less scary

Visiting the dentist can be very unnerving even for adults. Pediatric dentists take extra steps to make sure that their patients feel comfortable in their office. The equipment used by the pediatrics are smaller than those used by the general dentist. They are designed this way so they can comfortably fit in the child’s mouth without much strain. Pediatric dentists also take the extra time to explain what each instrument is used for so the kid is aware of what is happening and they can relax.

Fun environment

In addition to offering a clean and professional environment, pediatric dentists go an extra mile to make their offices more kid-friendly. They have bright and fun décor, they also incorporate games, toys, coloring station, and some offices even have a video arcade for the kids. The small attention to detail makes children feel more comfortable and even excited to visit their dentist.

Ability to help with habits

Adults are aware of good dental hygiene routine, but it can be a challenge for a child to follow by themselves. A pediatric dentist plays a huge role in helping your child stop unwanted oral habits such as thumb sucking. They make use of models and child-friendly terminology to emphasize the importance of strong and healthy teeth. Pediatric dentists will also guide parents on how to establish good oral habits to their children.

Focus on preventative treatments

Pediatric dentists are knowledgeable about common oral developmental problems in children. They are always looking for problems that might develop later. They use X-rays and examinations to help detect problems such as jaw irregularities early. In many cases, the problems can be fixed if they are detected early. They also offer checkups and dental cleaning to prevent tooth decay.

As a parent, if you are concerned about the oral health of your child, schedule a consultation with Kid Zone Dental, for a chance to work with the best pediatric dentists.

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