Dental Advise |2 min read

Family Dentist vs. General Dentist: What’s the Difference?

There are many reasons for switching dentists. Maybe, you’ve moved to a new town and are seeking a dentist closer to home. Or, your current dentist may not offer the comprehensive dental care your family requires.

Whatever the reason, before you decide on a dentist, you need to consider whether you want a general dentist or a family dentist.

You may be thinking, “Wait, there’s a difference?” While the terms “general dentist” and “family dentist” are often used interchangeably, there is a subtle difference between the two. To help you decide on the right dentist for you and your family, we’re discussing the defining characteristics of both types of dentists:


What’s a General Dentist?

General dentists receive an extensive education before practicing. Typically, 3 or more years of undergraduate education is required as well as 4 years of dental school before an individual can graduate and become a general dentist.

General dentists have one primary goal: to help you maintain a healthy smile. While this is the objective of all dentists, general dentists may restrict their patients to a specific age group. If your dentist won’t see patients under the age of 16, and you have a 5 and a 10-year-old, you’ll have to travel all over town to meet the dental needs of your family.

Before you select a dentist, make sure they offer the dental services you’re looking for. In addition to routine cleanings, many general dentists also offer the following services:

  • Invisalign
  • Root canals
  • Tooth extraction
  • Crowns
  • Veneers
  • Dentures
  • Bonding
  • And more…

If you need a specialized dental procedure, a general dentist may work with other dentists to help you take care of all of your dental needs.

How Does a Family Dentist Compare?

Similar to a general dentist, family dentists are extensively trained. They must receive their undergraduate degree and attend dental school before they see patients. They also offer the same services a general dentist offers.

The main difference between the two is that a family dentist specializes in dental procedures for all ages. Instead of visiting multiple dentists, you can take care of your family’s dental needs in one convenient location.

Family dentists focus on educating patients of all ages on teeth cleaning practices. Whether they’re teaching a toddler proper brushing techniques, or showing an elderly patient the correct way to clean their dentures, family dentists will ensure you and your family members maintain good dental care habits outside of their office.

A family dentist should focus on ensuring a positive dental experience for your entire family. At West Chester Dental Arts, we take care of all your dental care needs in a relaxed, friendly environment. Gone are the days when you needed to visit several offices for your dental check-ups. To learn more about the variety of services we offer, or to schedule an appointment, contact us today.