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Pediatric vs. Adult Dentistry: What Are the Differences?

No one is exempt from dental appointments. Whether young, old or in-between, each one of us are usually faced with a dental issue no matter what age or stage we might be in. Adults usually complain about the wear and tear that comes with the use (and abuse!) of permanent teeth, while youngsters may have concerns about proper dental hygiene. As the title suggests, both age groups need specialized services that can help them with their respective dental needs. That being said, the young and the old need to go to a pediatric and an adult dentist respectively. Not all adult dentists are skilled pediatric dentists, though all of them may have undergone training and proper education for both branches. The difference is in the years spent professionally practicing these types of dentistry. That is why it’s important to send your child to a licensed and professional pediatric dentist.

Pediatric Dentistry

The needs of a child and an adult dental patient differ greatly. The way an adult responds to a dentist is different from the way a child does. Though both age groups may experience anxiety in a dental office, it still takes a special dentist to handle each kind. Any dentist who has dealt with kids knows that they aren't just little adults. They usually ask a lot of questions on top of exhibiting nerve-wracking feelings towards their dental procedures. Thus, they can be difficult and challenging patients to cater to. The age of patients in pediatric dentistry usually ranges from infancy to 21 years old. As they are very restless and curious, they need a specialized approach from a dental professional. Dentists need to make them feel at ease with the environment and the staff in the office. Pediatric dentists need to establish a connection with their young patients and make the dental procedure more natural and fun. The physical environment of the dental office also counts. Dental problems that occur mostly in childhood are usually bothersome and sometimes, painful. Here are the common dental services for children:
  • Preventive Dentistry
  • Early Dental Assessment
  • Teeth Cleaning
  • Teeth Extraction
  • Teeth Alignment
Most pediatric dentists are also affiliated with community and pediatric hospitals which you may be referred to depending on the dental problem of your child. While your children are young and though milk teeth are expected to fall off, you still need to  give them the proper dental health care. A healthy gum environment will allow the growth of healthy permanent teeth. Early teeth alignment procedures, on the other hand, can give your child his best smile without him having to worry about social anxiety linked to bad teeth alignment.

General Dentistry

This is where adults go. After many years of going to a pediatric dentist, adults now need a professional that can properly take care of their permanent teeth. For those who weren't keen on having early dental care, they might experience more serious dental problems at this stage. These dental issues may even escalate into something outside of the dental area, such as a heart problem. Services in this type of dentistry are:
  • Diagnoses
  • Root Canals
  • Fillings
  • Crowns
  • Veneers
  • Bridges
  • Teeth Cleaning
  • Preventive Education
General Dentistry is designed for non-specific dental procedures that could serve as a preliminary solution to a dental problem, as long as it is still not very serious. A well-equipped dental office can give you complete services for various dental conditions including complicated ones. See to it that they are updated with the latest technology in order to assess your true dental condition while determining which procedure is most appropriate.

Meeting Halfway

If you're a family with both adults and children, a family dentist is your best bet. Regular appointments and dental visits can be done in a family dental office which offers the best of both worlds. Again, a thorough dental assessment will allow the professional to have a good standpoint on what to do. Both adults and children must have the proper dental care appropriate for their age and dental needs. Identifying which dentist is most suitable for you and your child could also be your best move in providing the best dental care your family deserves.