Is a family dentist right for your household?

Finding a dental practice that will work for everyone in your household can seem impossible if you don’t know what to look for.

General dentists are the most common type of dentist, but many don’t accept young patients under 14 years of age. On the other hand, there are pediatric dentists that offer care specifically tailored to children and are essentially a “kid’s only” general dentist.

A pediatric dentist is a wonderful choice for children, but there are some downsides to going this route and you’ll still need a general dentist for pre-teens/teens and adult family members.

Family dentistry solves the problem of finding a dentist everyone in your home will love, whether they’re five, 15 or 55. Not to mention there are some other advantages to opting for a family dentist that you may not have thought of.

Let’s take a look at 5 benefits that come with switching your household’s dental care to a family-focused dental practice.

1. Visiting a single location is more convenient.

Driving all over the city and dealing with traffic is something every parent would happily avoid if at all possible. A perk of seeing a family dentist is consolidating trips to the dentist down to just one location rather than commuting to multiple locations.

Another bonus is being able to schedule same-day appointments for multiple family members. Large families or ones with busy schedules can often work with their dental practice to plan out appointments for family members that can take place on the same day or even back-to-back with the same dentist. This can really be handy for biannual checkups and cleanings.

Speak with your dentist’s scheduling team and see how you can work together to figure out a plan that makes everyone happy.

2. Family dentists offer a total range of services.

Family dentists tend to offer a surprisingly wide range of different dental services, with some even including cosmetic and orthodontic care.

You can expect your dentist to provide complete care for all ages, which includes cleanings, general exams, fillings, root canal therapy, extractions, sealant treatments, crowns, bridges, and more. At Ada Smile Place our dentists also provide sedation dentistry, implant dentistry, and cosmetic dentistry services. Whether your child needs a cavity filled, a grandparent needs an implant, or you just want your teeth whitened, we’ve got all the bases covered.

Under some circumstances, an outside referral to specialists may be required, but this tends to be a rare occurrence.

3. Family dentists can pick up on potential inherited issues.

Something that’s easily overlooked by parents is how their own genetics can play an integral role in the tooth and jaw development of their children. A family dentist has a unique opportunity to not only see how a child’s dental health is progressing, but also the parents’ and even the siblings’ as well.

Certain oral health conditions are genetic, including the susceptibility of tooth decay, gum disease, oral cancer, misaligned teeth, and more. Even factors such as tooth color or the pattern in which a baby’s teeth erupt can all be linked to genetics.

A family dentist can also notice similar patterns between parents, siblings, and others in the family. These patterns might relate to daily dental care not being followed or hint at the level of nutrition in the family’s diet. From there your dentist can help you and your family get back on track.

4. Sticking with one dentist makes tracking children’s dental health easy.

Children experience significant changes in the development of their teeth, gums, and jaws up until they reach their late teens. A family dentist and their team will be able to get to know your child and ensure that they are growing properly, based on their own individual factors. They can also recognize potential problems with development before they occur.

Another handy benefit is knowing that your child’s entire dental history is located at one dental practice. If outside specialty treatment is required, the specialist you’re referred to will be able to retrieve your child’s dental records easily rather than having to request records from multiple sources. Your older teens or young adults that move away for school or work can also have their dental history transferred to a new dentist.

5. Family dentists offer lifelong support and education for all ages.

Family dentists have a wide range of knowledge and offer truly lifelong support for all ages. A dedicated family dentist is flexible enough to help a retired grandparent learn to transition to dentures, and also teach a young child how to properly brush and floss. Many parents also find that kids who feel nervous about dental visits are calmer with a family dentist since they know their dentist is also trusted by their parents. This can really help kids develop a positive outlook on dentistry as they get older.

Another thing to consider is how a family dentist supports teens. A disadvantage of pediatric dentists is needing to find a new dentist once your child reaches their pre-teen to teen years. In fact, since many pediatric dental practices are really aimed at very young kids, your child will probably want to move on to a more “grown-up” office naturally. Starting off with a family dentist can be a wonderful thing since your kids can continue visiting the same practice for as long as they like—even when they are adults themselves and begin to start their own families.

Ada Smile Place is a family-focused dental practice.

Ada Smile Place isn’t just a general dental practice that happens to allow children—we are a truly family-focused dental practice that strives to provide comprehensive dental care to everyone in your family.

If you’d like to give family dentistry a try and experience the benefits for yourself, schedule an appointment to come meet us and see how our dentists can help.