What's the Difference Between a Family Dentist and General Dentistry?

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Many people think that a family dentist and general dentist serve the community in the same way. While they are similar, a professional in family dentistry in Markham is slightly different from one who practices general dentistry. Here is what you should know about how each type of dental professional operates.

Formal Education

Education and training is essential for both family and general dentistry. Anyone who wishes to enter the profession must attend dental school and successfully complete all the coursework required. Prior to dental school, some amount of undergraduate work is usually required in order to be accepted into the school. Once the student graduates and passes the necessary exams for certification, it will be possible to establish a practice or become part of an existing practice. It’s also at that time the new dentist will have the opportunity to determine which part of the community he or she will serve.

Read more: Why Do I Need a Dental Bridge?

Patient Age and Dental Care

All dentists are dedicated to helping patients keep their teeth healthy and attractive. What will vary between dentists is the age of patients they choose to focus on. With general dentists, the practice may focus specifically on children up to a certain age. Another general dentist may choose to focus on treatment of young adults while a third tends to build a practice around supporting patients who are nearing or past retirement age.

While the general dentist does provide a range of services, the treatments offered will usually be directly related to the target group of patients. That means the general dentist who specializes in treatments for youth would likely include braces as part of the services offered. By contrast, a general dentist who focuses on patients who are older would be more likely to include help with dentures and dental implants as part of the services and support offered.

With general dentists, it’s a good idea to find out what specific courses of treatment each one offers. That will provide you with an idea of that particular practice is a good fit for your needs.

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How Does a Family Dentist Differ?

Family dentists offer all the different services offered by general dentists. The difference is that a Markham dentist who operates a family practice will offer a wider range of services. That’s because the patients will range from children who are just getting their permanent teeth to adults who are past retirement age.

At a family dental clinic, it’s possible to sign up each member of the family and receive dental treatments. The same dentist who provides advice to your child about brushing after meals is the one who will talk with you about the merits of a dental bridge as compared to those provided by a dental implant.

Remember that both family and general dentists seek to provide their patients with the best possible solutions. In the event you or a member of your family need attention that is beyond the scope of their practice, expect to receive a referral to a specialist. In the end, both professionals want every patient to have excellent dental health, even if that means arranging for someone else to provide the treatment.

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Andrea Galick

Andrea Galick is an accomplished Dental Hygienist (RDH) with a passion for helping patients achieve optimal oral health. Andrea has built a reputation as a caring and skilled practitioner who puts her patients at ease and provides individualized care that meets their unique needs.

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Everyone here is very friendly and provides excellent care. I received a full exam on my first visit, and everyone took time to answer my questions and ensured I felt comfortable the entire time - exactly what you want when visiting the dentist. I highly recommend Markham Smile Centre for anyone looking for great dental care.


There is an ample parking space before you get into the office. The receptionists welcome us friendly with proper COVID-19 procedures in place. The staff worked with patient very patiently and professionally. My teeth cleaning was done by Ying, she explained every detail to me and I did not feel any pain or uncomfortable at all. Thanks to the best team !


It's been a while since I've been to a dentist but I'm trying to get back on track with health in general. Overall it was great going to Markham Smile Centre! The receptionist (I believe she was Kim) was friendly. The hygienist, Ying, was attentive and gentle during the cleaning; x-ray tech (forgot her name, sorry!) was great too. Dr. Sara Riad explained things with good detail. Looking forward to going back!


I was someone who was nervous and anxious about visiting the dentist, but the team at Markham Smile Centre has made me feel SO comfortable. Kim is so patient and helpful and Dr. Hwang and Rory are both so professional and wonderful. They thoroughly explain the procedure to make you comfortable beforehand and are very gentle. I now look forward to visiting the dentist!


I found this place on a whim when I was looking for a new dentist in Markham. My hygienist ying was super nice and her cleaning was very gentle yet thorough. I saw Dr.Jason and he was very nice and informative in regards to what needs to be done and provided me with all the information I needed to make a choice. Would recommend this place to anyone looking for a new dentist, they’re accepting new patients!!


I have been to many dentists in my life, Dr. Jason is easily the best dentist I have ever been too. He does everything he can to make you comfortable no matter the procedure and is a true professional, as does all the staff at Markham Smile Centre. Truly an amazing dentistry


The clinic was clean and the staff was very polite. I particularly liked the fact that everything was explained to me before going in for the procedure so I knew what to expect at each step. The dental hygienist who did the cleaning for me was also very gentle and took my concerns into consideration. I will definitely recommend them.


Upon arriving to the Markham Smile Centre, my son and I were greeted with a warm welcome by the receptionists. The hygienists and Dentist were very gentle and transparent with what they were doing. The hygienist that worked on my 9 year old son was patient and very friendly with him, which helped ease his nerves. Our overall experience was A+.


Since I was little, I have always hated going to the dentist... Its always uncomfortable and unpleasant. These days, visiting the dentist isn’t so bad! Dr Jason, Rory, and the lovely staff at reception make the experience 100x better. I have had absolutely no issues with the gum graft and cleanings that I’ve gotten done here. Everyone is incredibly friendly and helpful, even when I’m calling in or emailing a hundred questions :). I would highly recommend Markham Smile Centre.


Love this place! All the staffs are friendly and Professional and I mean all, cause I've been to most of their office, Markham , Stouffville, North York, and Maple. Dr. Ko is very professional and patient. Whenever I have questions and concerns he would always reply me . I would say this this dental office take care of you all the way. I would highly recommend everyone to come here for any dental works. =)