Pediatric Dentist or a General Dentist?

Now that your child is old enough to see a dentist, who should she see? A pediatric dentist or a general family dentist? The short and easy answer is that she should see a dentist, and can’t really go wrong either way. But there are some advantages to every child seeing a kids dentist in St. Albert. Let’s break it down.

The biggest advantage of taking your child to a general family dentist is that the whole family may be able to attend the same clinic. That might offer some benefits when it comes to convenience and scheduling, but those benefits aren’t significant enough to warrant foregoing the opportunity to get you child in to see a dentist the specializes in children’s dentistry in St. Albert.

Although your general dentist is certainly qualified to treat a child, you may find that your dentist has focused their practice on older patients for the simple reason that pediatric dentistry is a specialized area. Children are not, after all, just miniature versions of adults. Rather, they have unique dental needs.

What is unique about a kids dentist in St. Albert?

Every dentist graduates from a four-year dental program at dental school that equips them to treat patients. Dentists who choose to focus on treating children, though, receive an additional two or three years of training. That additional training that is just for treating children equips pediatric dentists in the following areas:

  • Surgical and diagnostic techniques particularly for children
  • Special needs dentistry for kids, that might include issues such as cleft lips or palettes, autism, etc.
  • Child psychology and development
  • Pharmacology for children, including how to deliver and assess dosages for younger patients
  • Treating and managing trauma affecting children
  • Sedation and anesthesia for very young patients

A dental office in St. Albert that focuses on children is designed and equipped with that very priority in mind. Their offices and waiting areas will be designed, decorated, and scaled with children; and the potential for dental anxiety as they become accustomed to visiting the dentist; in mind. Even the dental chairs, implements, and equipment may be modified and scaled to look less intimidating to your young child.

Finally, a dentist that has dedicated her career to treating children has seen more children as patients. Your child deserves a dentist with experience in meeting her particular dental needs. She’ll have the best chance of getting that at a clinic that focuses on children’s dentistry in St. Albert.

What’s next and when?

If you’re still on the fence about whether to take your child to a pediatric dentist or even your own general family dentist, consider calling your dentist and a kid’s dentist in St. Albert and asking them what they recommend. You’re the expert in your child, but fill them in about your concerns, and let them guide you.

Now, about timing. When should you take your child to see a dentist for the first time? Dentists recommend that you take your child to the dentist for the first time as soon as their first tooth emerges through her gums, but no later than her first birthday.

If those landmarks have passed and your child has yet to see her new dentist, consider making an appointment as soon as possible at kids; dentist in St. Albert. An early start to oral health and dental care will set your child up for a lifetime of good dental health – and maybe even save Mom and Dad a few bucks on dental care down the road.