Trying to ensure everyone in your family gets great dental care can be overwhelming at first, but it’s certainly worth it—a healthy mouth helps your body stay healthy, too. When you’re just starting your search, you might find yourself a little fuzzy about the difference between general dentists and family dentists.

These dentists are very similar in many respects, and you might find that a general dentist is sometimes also a family dentist. But with some dental practices, there are a few key differences between those presenting themselves as general dentists only and those who are family dentists. These differences are especially important if you have a family. 

How to Choose Between a Family Dentist and a General Dentist 

They offer similar services.

General and family dentists both offer many of the same services, including treatments that involve cosmetic dentistry, orthodontics, and endodontics, which specializes in treatments that involve the nerves of teeth. As a result, both general and family dentists can offer you a host of treatments to meet many different needs, from cavity fillings, root canals, and preventative cleanings to teeth whitening treatments and veneers. 

It’s important to note that each office may put more stress on different specializations, so the treatment options that a specific dentist offers will depend upon the individual practice. It’s wise to consider what treatments you may need in the coming years and ensure that the practice you choose offers those treatments.

They serve different ages.

The big difference between general and family dentists often comes down to the age of the patients they are willing to take. General dentists usually have an age cap, only treating patients above a certain age. Family dentists, however, treat patients of all ages, from the very young to the elderly. This makes family dentists ideal for many families, especially those with younger children.

Family dentists are convenient for families.

Since some general dentists only take patients who have reached a certain age, parents who see general dentists themselves often have to find a different dentist for their children. For many families, this means driving across town to reach different dentists and keeping the names and information of different dental offices straight. It also means that families are forced to arrange appointments on different days, which results in parents having to leave work early for dental appointments more often. 

Additionally, when your children reach a certain age, you’re often faced with the difficult decision of whether you should change their dentist to your general dentist or keep their dentist the same. Sadly, whichever option you choose involves quite a bit of hassle, either in the process of changing dentists or the continued struggle of bringing your child to a different dentist. 

Family dentists fix all these problems by providing dental care for each member of the family in a single location. You’ll only have to keep the information of a single dentist straight and won’t have to worry about changing your child’s dentist when they hit a certain age. If you’d like, our team will help you to schedule your appointment at the same time as your child’s, reducing the amount of time you’ll have to take off work to ensure that everyone gets to their appointment. If you have young kids, going to a family dentist will likely save you time, money, and confusion; if you don’t, however, either a general or family dentist will work well for you.

Family dental offices are comfortable for families.

Since family dentists treat plenty of children, their reception areas are usually designed with kids in mind. There are often toys for your children to play with or shows playing on TV for them to watch. This ensures that children of all ages are comfortable and entertained in the reception area, which can cut down on any anxiety they might be feeling about seeing the dentist. The more entertained your little ones are, the easier and less stressful the visit is for you.

Family dentists are great with kids.

At a family dentist’s office, both the dentist and their team are great with kids. Family dentists like Dr. Wohlers choose to treat kids as well as adults because they love working with them. Our team treats children of all ages every day, so we know how to handle children, even if they’re scared or a little grumpy. We speak to children with kindness and patience, and Dr. Wohlers does her best to ensure that your little ones feel safe and comfortable. A good family dentistry team won’t get frustrated if your little one is hyper, wiggly, or scared, but will handle the situation with expertise and patience, doing their best to ensure your child learns that there’s nothing to be afraid of at the dentist. 

General dentists and family dentists offer similar services, but if you have a family with younger children, family dentists are much more convenient. They allow you to ensure that your entire family gets expert care in the same location, cutting down on the confusion, hassle, and wasted time that juggling multiple dentists can cause.