Pediatric Dentist Vs. Regular Dentist

For children, having an early and positive start to their interaction with a dental office is very important. It will further dictate how they perceive dental treatment, how involved they are in keeping their oral health in check, and it will most probably prevent dental anxiety in the future. 

Taking your little one to the dentist for regular check-ups should start from the moment the first tooth emerges. Instead of waiting for the first problems to appear, it’s wise to prevent issues as much as possible. But many parents are unsure if they are supposed to take their child to a pediatric dentist or if a regular dentist is enough. What is the difference between the two?

Education and Training

While a general dentist can perform most of the procedures a child would need, a pediatric dentist has more knowledge about the particularities of a child’s anatomy and developing needs. Pediatric dentists complete a 2-3 year program which makes them specialize in child-specific dental issues and approaches. 

A pediatric dentist will master the skills and knowledge needed to treat all kinds of dental issues children can go through. While general dentists are also trained to solve common issues like cavities or plaque, a pediatric dentist receives more in-depth training on problems specific to childhood. 


A pediatric dentist spends an extra 2-3 years after dental school gaining experience working with little patients. Experience is a great teacher, especially when it comes to interacting with the little ones and creating a comfortable and safe environment for them. 

However, a general dentist with plenty of experience treating children and teenagers will be perfectly able to successfully treat their problems. Having good people skills and giving the patient enough time to feel comfortable will help general dentists treat their smallest patients with ease.

Equipment and Methods

Children need special tools and equipment when being treated, to make the process easier and more comfortable for them. Also, certain methods are used to treat baby teeth and growing jaws and teeth. 

In a pediatric office, it’s not just the medical equipment that’s adapted to the little patient's needs, but also the environment. Kids are welcomed in colorful, playful offices, with toys, drawings, cartoons, children’s songs, and other elements to keep them entertained and comfortable. 

Book an Appointment for Your Child or Teen at North Park Dental

Dr. Ricardo Muñoz and his team at North Park Dental treat patients of all ages in his office in McAllen, TX. His friendly demeanor and vast experience with kids and teens make him the right person to get your kid excited to regularly go to the dentist. 
Contact us and book an appointment or ask any questions, we are happy to help you and your child have the best experience!