The goal of dentistry as a whole is to help patients prevent and treat dental issues to achieve excellent oral health. There are many specialized areas of dentistry, including general dentists, family dentists, orthodontists, pediatric dentists, prosthodontics, and more. The two most commonly known by patients and sometimes used interchangeably are general dentists and family dentists, though there are differences between both.
The main difference between a general dentist and a family dentist is that a general dentist typically focuses their services on a specific age group, while a family dentist specializes in dental procedures for all ages. There is no right or wrong choice between the two. Many patients with families choose to see a family dentist in NW Calgary because they can take care of the entire family’s dental needs in one location.
The benefits of seeing a family dentist
The main advantage of seeing a family dentist is that you and your family can continue to see the same family dentist for years to come. Your family dentist may recommend you to a specialist if the issue or treatment is complicated to ensure that you receive the best care.
While you can certainly see a pediatric dentist or an orthodontist, for example, seeing a family dentist:
- Helps build a trusting patient-dentist relationship as you see the same dentist from childhood to adulthood.
- Provides your dentist with good knowledge of your dental history, which allows them to monitor issues closely and apply necessary interventions as quickly as possible.
- Makes it easy for you to schedule all of your family’s dental appointments in one convenient place.
- Allows your dentist to identify potential genetic issues which will be closely monitored in your children.
When to see a family dentist
Patients as young as 1 to 100 years old can see a family dentist! Generally speaking, you should see or take your child to see a family dentist:
- When the first tooth erupts or by their first birthday, whichever one comes first - Your child’s first visit to the dentist is to help them get comfortable with the environment, meet the team, and become familiar with the noises, dentist chair, and tools.
- For regular checkups and cleaning - We recommend scheduling a professional cleaning and oral exam at least once a year. Depending on the health of your teeth and gums, your dentist may recommend more frequent visits. Regular checkups and cleaning help prevent cavities and detect issues before they become serious oral health problems.
- For prevention during growth and development - As your child grows, this is a crucial time for their jaw development and growth. Family dentists can prevent costly procedures down the road with the right interventions, such as dental spacers, retainers, mouthguards, and more. Be sure to schedule your child for regular checkups and follow your dentist’s recommendations.
- When jaw and teeth correction is needed - A misaligned bite, crooked teeth, and gaps between teeth are issues that your family dentist can address. Depending on the severity of your or your child’s case, they may recommend an orthodontist to correct the issue with braces, clear aligners, or surgery.
- To prevent and treat gum disease - Along with regular checkups and cleaning, the best way to prevent gum disease is to maintain a good dental hygiene routine. Your family dentist can detect the presence and progression of gum disease and apply the proper treatment.
- For oral cancer detection - Family dentists not only check for cavities during an oral exam but are also trained to identify early signs of oral cancer. Annual oral cancer screenings are typically recommended starting from the age of 18.
Regardless of your age and dental needs, we will offer you a comfortable and reassuring visit at Pro Grace Dentistry. Contact us to book an appointment or drop by our dental clinic in NW Calgary.