For any busy family it is important to have a dentist that works with their schedule. Unlike a pediatric dentist, who specializes in child dental health, or a general dentist who may not offer care for children, a family dentist provides dental care for all stages of life. This means you and your child’s dental needs can be met at the same office and your children can have the same dentist throughout their life.
If you value being able to meet all the various needs of their family without having to go to multiple offices, a family dentist is a perfect fit for you. In this article, we’ll discover what what to consider when looking for the right family dentist and learn the differences between traditional care and family care..
The Difference between Family Care and Traditional Care
A general dentist is one of the most common types of dental practices in America. General dentists can treat your whole family and they are often your primary care dentist. They will generally have training in specialized areas, such as root canal therapy or orthodontics, and are a great fit for families with older children or without many oral health issues.
A family dentist group, however, often has multiple specialists in house, offering a convenient all-in-one solution to your family’s dental needs. Family dentist practices offer a variety of services in house, whether you need new braces for your teen, or a pediatric dentist for your child, or an endodontist to treat root and pulp,.
Each practice has their own method of scheduling, but the all-in-one nature of a family dentist also means you can schedule appointments together. This reduces the need to stagger appointments or to wait multiple days to get everyone seen. If convenient scheduling is important to you, this is an important factor to consider.
The Benefits of a Family Dentist
A family dentist can offer a lot of the same benefits of a general dentists, but with a few key differences. Family dentists will accept patients of all ages, and have specialists to work with any age group. A general dentist might have age restrictions. These restrictions are often in place because the dentist might not have extensive training in pediatric dentistry. Children’s teeth require specialists to ensure that they are well cared for and their permanent teeth come in healthy.
With a number of in house specialists, a family dentist is also able to reduce the time you spend at the dentist office waiting for your whole family to be seen. Having all your dental needs taken care of in the same place keeps the whole family more comfortable.
Many children are afraid or uneasy when they visit the dentist, and keeping everything the same as they grow up can help make them feel comfortable and safe. Instead of having to switch dentists when your child starts to need braces, you can keep going to the same family dentist.
A family dentist is able to provide your family with the care they need no matter their stage of dental development. This makes it more convenient than having to schedule appointments at one dentist for yourself and then your child’s appointments at a pediatric dentist clear across town. Often times a family dental group will have many in-house specialists that will provide specialized services such as teeth whitening, crowns, dentures, and more.
How to Find a Family Dentist
For many people, the location of their new dentist is the first thing on their mind when it comes to finding a new dentist. Certainly, having a dentist conveniently located is very important, but there are other factors you should consider when looking for a good dentist.
Before you look, think about what oral health needs your family has. If you have young children, you should make sure the family dentist has a great pediatric dentistry practice.. Keep in mind any existing oral health issues, and be sure there is a specialist in house to provide care for those issues.
It’s smart to lay out some criteria for your search. A good place to start is the price, atmosphere and the education the dentists have. The best dentists are keeping abreast of the latest developments and have the specialized training that you will need.
The advanced techniques and technologies offered by many dental groups today make for a less invasive visit to the dental office.. For example, digital x-rays use less radiation and are safer than traditional x-rays. Offices that offer advanced technology can make for a more comfortable visit for uneasy or scared patients.
If you have a young child, you should inquire to see if they have a pediatric specialist in the group. Pediatric dentistry is the branch of dentistry that specializes in caring for children’s oral health from birth through adolescence.
Pediatric dentists also serve as educational resources to help teach your children how to develop habits to maintain good oral health throughout their lives. Visits to the pediatric dentist should occur every six months after the presence of the first tooth, or by a child’s first birthday.
Check with your insurance carrier to see what is covered and to research treatment plans ahead of time. If you expect to have to have a costly procedure done, be sure to ask about payment plans, or what insurance will cover when you visit the dentist. These are excellent questions to ask at a consultation.
Once you have a list of potential dental groups, schedule consultations to visit the office to see if it matches your needs. Come with a list of questions like Is the office clean and does the atmosphere make you feel safe? Are the staff friendly and helpful? Do they offer all the services that you will need? These are all important questions to answer as you find your family their perfect family dentist.
Be certain the dental group is a family practice group. Many dental practices will advertise that they offer treatment for the whole family, but be sure that they are not a general practice group, but offer pediatric services. Just because they use “family” in their practice tile doesn’t mean they are a family dentist. The American Dental Association has many resources to help you in your search. Organizations like these can help you narrow your search by what specialists you would need, distance from your home, and things like insurance terms and more.
Finding the right family dentist is a great way to help you save time and potentially money as your family grows and their dental health needs change.