When it comes time for a dental check-up or looking for a dentist near their area, most people don’t know the difference between family and general dentists. As a result, many people go to the closest dentist without researching which one is best for their needs. This can lead to problems down the road if you need more specialized care. In this blog post, we will discuss the differences between family dentists and general dentists so that you can make an informed decision about who to see for your next dental check-up!


There are numerous reasons for changing dentists. For example, perhaps you’ve relocated to a new town and are looking for a dentist who is closer to home. Alternatively, your current dentist may not provide the comprehensive dental care that your family requires.


Whatever the reason, you should consider whether you want a general dentist or a family dentist before choosing a dentist.


“Wait, there’s a difference?” you may be thinking.


“While the terms “general dentist” and “family dentist” are frequently used interchangeably, there is a distinction between the two. To assist you in deciding on the best dentist for you and your family, we’ll go over the distinguishing characteristics of both types of dentists:


What exactly is a General Dentist?


Before they can practice, general dentists must complete extensive training. Before becoming a general dentist, an individual must typically complete three or more years of undergraduate education and four years of dental school.


General dentists have one primary goal: to help you keep your smile healthy. While this is the goal of all dentists, general practitioners may limit their patients to a specific age group. For example, if your dentist refuses to see patients under the age of 16, and you have a 5- and 10-year-old, you’ll have to travel all over town to meet your family’s dental needs.


Before choosing a dentist, make sure they provide the dental services you require. Aside from routine cleanings, many general dentists offer the following services:

  •                     Invisalign: If you’re looking for a straighter smile, Invisalign may be the solution for you. This treatment uses clear braces to straighten teeth over time gently.
  •                     Crowns and Bridges: If you have a cracked tooth or one that’s been damaged, a crown may be the best solution. Crowns are caps positioned over the top of the teeth to restore their shape and size.
  •                     Dentures: If you’re missing several teeth, dentures may be the best option. Dentures are removable substitutes for missing teeth that can be worn daily or at night.
  •                     Root canals: If you’re experiencing pain in a tooth, there’s a good chance that you may need a root canal. During this procedure, the dentist will remove the damaged pulp from the tooth and replace it with a filling material.
  •                     Bonding: If you have a small chip in your tooth, bonding may be the best solution. This procedure involves using a resin material to fill in the damaged area.

If you require a specialized dental procedure, a general dentist may collaborate with other dentists to meet all of your dental needs.


How Does a Family Dentist Measure Up?


Family dentists, like general dentists, have extensive training. Before seeing patients, they must first complete their undergraduate studies and then attend dental school. They also provide the same services as a general dentist. The primary distinction between the two is that a family dentist specializes in dental procedures for patients of all ages. Therefore, instead of visiting multiple dentists, you can meet all of your family’s dental needs in one place.


Good dental health is essential not only for maintaining a healthy mouth but also for improving your appearance and overall quality of life.


Now, here are Primary Reasons to See a General Dentist:


Regular visits to general dentists are far more important than simply getting your teeth cleaned; they allow preventative care and early detection. Preventing health problems is much easier and usually less expensive than repairing them later. Your general or family dentist will usually take x-rays and examine your teeth for signs of decay or infection during a checkup.


Our doctors at River District Smiles also use this time to identify the early stages of more serious health issues such as gum disease and oral cancer to recommend treatment options and plans.


While brushing and flossing at home are suitable for your oral health, a professional teeth cleaning is much more thorough. Furthermore, we advise our patients to use fluoride treatments to prevent teeth from decaying by making the tooth more resistant against acid attacks from sugars in the mouth and plaque bacteria. It can also help to reverse early decay.


The bottom line is that poor oral hygiene can lead to various problems, including bone loss, gum disease, and toothaches, so be proactive.


Do you want to know how to whiten your teeth or what services are available in cosmetic dentistry? Do you bleed when you floss, and are your teeth sensitive? Our dental office is committed to providing answers to your questions and promoting a healthy lifestyle.


It’s amazing and sometimes terrifying what people will do to “look better” in our world of social media selfies and plastic surgery. The bottom line is that people care about their appearance, and a beautiful smile can go a long way. Several studies have found a link between healthy-looking smiles and greater success in dating and professional careers. So when you next visit your dentist, don’t be afraid to ask about the various dental cosmetic treatments available to help you achieve the smile you’ve always desired.


The more critical aspect of getting dental work done is maintaining good overall health. Like many other parts of your body, your mouth is teeming with bacteria. Without proper oral hygiene, bacteria levels can reach levels that have been linked to a variety of diseases and conditions such as endocarditis, cardiovascular disease, pregnancy complications, diabetes, and many others. So maintain vigilance and safeguard your health!


If ever you need a general dentist near your area, do not hesitate to give us a call here at River District Smiles. Our dentists are experienced in all facets of general dentistry and would be happy to provide a consultation. Contact us today!