What Is The Difference Between Family Dentistry And General Dentistry

Understanding the Difference Between Family Dentistry and General Dentistry

Choosing the right dental healthcare provider for you and your family is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Reliable dental care is essential to maintaining overall health for all family members, regardless of age. However, family dentistry and general dentistry can often need clarification. This article aims to clear up the confusion and help you understand which option might be the most suitable for your family’s unique needs.

Family Dentistry vs. General Dentistry

While family and general dentists provide services to maintain oral hygiene and dental health, their target patient demographics and their range of services often differ.

  1. Patient Age Group:
    1. Family Dentistry: Family dentists cater to patients of all age groups, from children to seniors. They understand the diverse dental needs of different age groups, ranging from routine teeth cleaning to managing oral health changes associated with aging.
    2. General Dentistry: General dentists often cater to a specific age group, commonly adults. Their practice may not be set up to handle the needs of younger patients or older adults.
  1. Pediatric Dentistry:
    1. Family Dentistry: Family dentists are trained in pediatric dentistry. They can manage children’s dental health, including monitoring growth and development, sealing grooves and pits in children’s teeth prone to decay, early orthodontic treatment, and promoting oral health education.
    2. General Dentistry: General dentists may need specialized training to handle pediatric dental issues, although they may still perform some primary dental care for children.
  2. Continuity of Care:
    1. Family Dentistry: With a family dentist, there is continuity of care as the same dentist can look after the entire family’s dental health. This can help track genetic or lifestyle-related dental issues and establish a comfortable and familiar environment for all family members.
    2. General Dentistry: A general dentist may not provide this continuity, particularly in families with a wide age range.
  3. Comprehensive Services:
    1. Family Dentistry: Family dentists offer comprehensive services to cater to the needs of all ages, including preventive care, restorative dentistry, cosmetic procedures, and orthodontics.
    2. General Dentistry: General dentists also offer a wide range of services but might need a more extensive portfolio suited to the diverse needs of a family unit.
  4. Dental Education for Children:
    1. Family Dentistry: Family dentists play a vital role in educating children about the importance of regular brushing, flossing, and oral care, ensuring a lifetime of good dental habits.
    2. General Dentistry: General dentists may need to be more experienced in dealing with children or providing them with dental education.
  5. Convenience:
    1. Family Dentistry: Having a single family dentist can be more convenient, as it allows multiple appointments for different family members to be scheduled on the same day.
    2. General Dentistry: With general dentists, each family member may need another dentist, which can be less convenient for scheduling and transport.
  6. Developing Long-term Relationships:
    1. Family Dentistry: Family dentists often build long-term relationships with all family members. This rapport allows the dentist to cater to each individual’s needs, fears, and expectations.
    2. General Dentistry: While general dentists can also establish long-term relationships, the rapport may only extend to some family members if they cater mainly to specific age groups.


The decision between a family and a general dentist ultimately depends on your family’s unique needs and preferences. Both are well-equipped to provide professional dental care. However, family dentistry offers the added benefits of versatility, convenience, and continuity of care that can be especially helpful for families with children or elderly members.

Do you feel like a family dentist is what your loved ones need?

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Call us at (519) 641-1411 or at For more information, visit our website at

Your Family’s Smile, Our Priority

Article compiled by Apple Tree Dental

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