Dental Emergencies

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

When it comes to finding a dentist, you may come across the terms “family dentist” and “general dentist.” While they may seem similar, there are key differences between the two. In this article, we will explore what family dentistry and general dentistry entail, and discuss why choosing a family dentist might be the right choice for you and your loved ones.

What is Family Dentistry?

Family dentistry is a branch of dentistry that provides dental care for patients of all ages. Family dentists are trained to treat children, teenagers, adults, and seniors. They understand the changes that occur from infancy to late adulthood and are equipped to care for both primary (baby) and permanent teeth.

One of the primary focuses of family dentistry is dental prevention and education. Family dentists place a strong emphasis on teaching proper brushing techniques, providing education on the link between gum health and overall health, and offering routine dental care to prevent oral health problems. Some of the services offered by family dentists include comprehensive exams, dental cleanings, periodontics, oral cancer screening, sealants, root canals, nightguards, mouthguards, and fillings. In addition, some family dentists also provide cosmetic and restorative services such as veneers, teeth whitening, dental implants, and extractions.

Why You Should Have a Family Dentist

Having a family dentist offers several advantages for you and your family’s dental care needs. Here are some compelling reasons to consider choosing a family dentist:

Convenience for the Whole Family

One of the significant benefits of having a family dentist is the convenience it offers. With a family dentist, you can schedule appointments for your entire family at the same location and often on the same day. This eliminates the need to drive to different dental practices and manage multiple appointments. It also reduces the hassle of dealing with separate payments, insurance claims, and paperwork. Having a family dentist streamlines your dental care experience, making it more convenient and efficient for you and your loved ones.

Continuity of Care

By choosing a family dentist, you ensure continuity of care for your entire family. Your children will grow up with the familiarity, comfort, and trust of one dentist and their dental team. This long-term relationship allows the dentist to understand your family’s unique dental needs and provide personalized care. Furthermore, family dentists know how to make dentistry fun for kids, often offering prize incentives to encourage good oral hygiene habits.

Anticipating Future Needs

Even if you don’t have children yet, it’s wise to choose a family dentist if you plan on starting a family in the future. By establishing a relationship with a family dentist early on, you will be prepared when your family grows and save yourself the hassle of finding a new dentist later. It’s always beneficial to have a dental professional who is knowledgeable about your dental history and can provide comprehensive care for your changing needs.

Services Tailored to All Ages

Family dentists have the expertise to address the unique dental needs of patients at every stage of life. They are trained to care for primary teeth, monitor the development of permanent teeth, and provide appropriate treatments for various oral health conditions. Whether your child needs a cavity filled, your teenager requires orthodontic treatment, or you require restorative procedures like dental implants, a family dentist can cater to all these needs and more.

Qualifications and Expertise

When choosing a family dentist, it’s essential to consider their qualifications and expertise. Family and general dentistry do not require specialized training beyond dental school. However, well-qualified family dentists often have years of experience, pursue continuing education and training, hold active memberships in dental organizations, and may have received awards for their exceptional work. Look for a family dentist who has a particular interest in treating children and possesses the skills to make dental visits enjoyable for young patients.

If you are in search of a family dentist in the Ottawa and Gatineau regions, consider Capital Dentistry. Our team of experienced family dentists is dedicated to providing comprehensive dental care for patients of all ages. With a focus on preventive dentistry, restorative treatments, and cosmetic services, we strive to ensure the optimal oral health of your entire family.

To learn more about our dental services or to book an appointment, contact Capital Dentistry today.

What is General Dentistry?

General dentistry, like family dentistry, is concerned with maintaining oral health and preventing dental problems. General dentists provide a wide range of dental services, but they typically have age limitations and primarily treat patients who are 16 to 18 years old and older.

General dentists focus on keeping your smile healthy through regular check-ups, cleanings, and treatments for common dental issues. They offer services such as dental exams, cleanings, fillings, extractions, and gum disease treatments. General dentists may also provide cosmetic treatments like teeth whitening and veneers, although their specialization lies more in overall oral health rather than specialized cosmetic procedures.

Benefits of General Dentistry

While family dentistry caters to patients of all ages, there are still benefits to choosing a general dentist. Here are a few advantages of general dentistry:

Specialized Expertise

General dentists have a deep understanding of oral health and are experts in diagnosing and treating common dental problems. They can provide specialized care for adult dental issues, such as gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss. General dentists often have a breadth of experience in treating a wide range of dental conditions, making them well-equipped to handle the oral health needs of adult patients.

Comprehensive Dental Care

General dentists offer comprehensive dental care and can address a variety of dental concerns. From preventive services like regular cleanings and examinations to restorative treatments like fillings, extractions, and crowns, general dentists can provide the necessary care to keep your teeth and gums healthy. They are also skilled at detecting early signs of oral health problems and can recommend appropriate treatments to prevent further complications.

Referrals to Specialists

While general dentists can handle most dental issues, they may refer patients to specialists for complex procedures or specialized treatments. If you require orthodontic treatment, endodontic therapy (root canal treatment), or oral surgery, your general dentist can refer you to trusted specialists who have specific expertise in those areas. This ensures that you receive the best possible care for your unique dental needs.

Continuity of Care for Adults

If you are an adult without children or your children have grown up, a general dentist may be a suitable choice for your dental care needs. General dentists focus on adult oral health and understand the specific concerns and treatments required for adult patients. By choosing a general dentist, you can establish a long-term relationship and receive consistent care tailored to your individual needs.


Choosing between a family dentist and a general dentist ultimately depends on your specific dental care needs and preferences. Family dentists offer the convenience of one location for your entire family’s dental care, continuity of care, and services tailored to patients of all ages. On the other hand, general dentists specialize in adult oral health and provide comprehensive care for common dental issues.

If you are looking for a dental clinic in the Ottawa and Gatineau regions that offers family dentistry and general dentistry services, consider Capital Dentistry. Our experienced team of dentists is dedicated to providing personalized and comprehensive dental care for patients of all ages. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and experience the benefits of having a dedicated dental professional for your family’s oral health needs.