The Difference Between a General and a Pediatric Dentist

Posted on August 13, 2023 | About Us | Hot Topics

The Difference Between a General and a Pediatric Dentist

Going to the dentist can be scary for children, especially when it’s a general dentist’s office where the atmosphere is often quiet, subdued, and doesn’t cater to kids. Instead, many parents are looking to pediatric dentists, who cater directly to children. 

Here are some ways that pediatric and general dentists differ:

The Environment Is Different

General dentistry offices are often set up to have a very spa-like environment that is calm and soothing. On the flip side, most modern pediatric dentistry offices are colorful and bright with upbeat music that makes it a fun and happy environment. This also offers entertainment for children with a children’s reception area to distract them from any anxiety they may be feeling. Many pediatric offices have a play area or a television for watching movies to engage children or their accompanying siblings. 

The Staff Interaction is Different

In a general dental office you may find the staff to be more professional and the terminology used to be more straightforward. In a pediatric dental office the staff will interact with young patients in an age appropriate way by using language that helps them relax and having a playful manner in how they present things. Instead of using the term “suction”, they may use “Mr. Thirsty.” And when it comes time to use the x-ray unit, they’ll call it a camera and call the lead apron a blanket. The conversation will be focused on things the child will be entertained by to help keep their mind at ease and make the experience pleasant. A pediatric office will also take the time to explain each step along the way so that the child understands what to expect.

Training is Different

The majority of skills and expertise a general dentist has acquired is focused on the management of permanent teeth. A pediatric dentist has an additional two to three years of specialized training in the management of pediatric teeth, the proper sequence of teething, child psychology, cooperation techniques, and caring for patients with special needs.


The equipment used in general dental offices versus a pediatric dental office may vary. Using digital x-ray imaging that reduces radiation up to 90%, our office uses specially sized x-ray equipment, such as pediatric sized x-ray plates. We also utilize intraoral scanners, so we don’t have to take traditional impressions that may cause some kids to gag or feel claustrophobic. Having on screen x-ray and intraoral images helps to educate parents and monitor cavity-susceptible areas more comfortably for the child. 

At Blossom Pediatric Dentistry, kids can’t wait until they get to come back for their next appointment. We want to empower each child to have good dental health and oral health practices that lead into their adulthood. We’d love to be part of your child’s good dental health experience!

What They Say

Read Reviews Write a Review

Schedule an appointment online!