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

Cartoon illustration of three happy teeth accompanied by a strand of dental floss.

Finding the right dentist can be a challenge. We can help you make it easier by breaking down some basic terminology.

You’ve probably seen the terms “general dentist” and “family dentist,” but you may not know what they mean—that’s okay! General dentistry and family dentistry are essentially the same. Let’s take a closer look.

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What is Family Dentistry?

Dentists who practice family dentistry work with patients of all ages; whether your child’s first tooth erupted or your grandfather needs a new crown, a family dentist can help. Family dentists like Dr. Bass are particularly interested in building long-term relationships with their patients. Because they offer services for your whole family, you can take care of appointments for yourself, your children, and your senior family members at one location. 

Family dentistry services include preventive dentistry, cosmetic restoration, tooth extraction, and standard procedures like root canals — many also offer early cavity treatments, Invisalign, and more. You can visit them for the same care a general dentist provides.

Family dentists must complete three to four years of undergraduate education plus four years of dental school to be awarded a DDS (doctorate of dental surgery) or DMD (doctorate of dental medicine) degree. 

Cartoon illustration of a smiling white tooth surrounded by blue and pink swirls to symbolize knowledge.

What is General Dentistry?

By definition, every dentist who graduates from dental school is a general dentist. Whether your dentist bills themself as a general or family dentist, they have the same knowledge and skills.

The term “general dentistry” indicates that the dentist performs many different procedures. Services include diagnosis, treatment, and management of your overall oral health. Therefore, you can see a general dentist for the same preventive, cosmetic, and standard procedures a family dentist provides.

A general dentist may pursue additional post-graduate training to specialize in a particular type of treatment or age group. However, specialists do not perform the same variety of procedures a general dentist offers. For example, an endodontist specializes in root canals, and a pediatric dentist specializes in working with children from infancy through adolescence. 

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Do I Need a Family Dentist or General Dentist?

If you’re in charge of ensuring everyone in your family has healthy teeth, a family dentist can be a great choice. Because everything you need is in one location, a family dental practice can save you time, money, and stress. 

Unless you need a specialist like an orthodontist, a general dentist can suit your needs just as well as a family dentist. Since both provide a wide range of services, either choice is a good choice. Whichever dentist you choose, be sure to see them twice a year for routine cleaning and preventive care!

Cartoon illustration of a smiling, friendly looking female dentist holding a large smiling tooth.

Need a Family Dentist in Gastonia, NC?

If you need dental care in Gastonia, NC, Bass Dentistry is here to help! Our friendly staff provides excellent care in a welcoming, relaxing environment. Sensory-friendly options are available, our resident therapy dog is on duty to offer cuddles to patients of all ages, and all kiddos get a post-appointment visit to the treasure chest.

We love what we do and are happy to help everyone in the family improve their dental health. We’re accepting new patients now! Give us a call today.

Healthy Gums,
Healthy Life

If dental health is important to you and your family, take steps to know how to keep your gums healthy. Gum health is essential to maintaining healthy teeth and overall good dental hygiene. Brush and floss multiple times per day, avoid tobacco products, and use a therapeutic mouthwash. 

If you want to know more about maintaining a healthy smile, book an appointment today with Bass Dentistry.

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