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

11 December, 2017 Family Dentistry

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.

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.

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.