(251) 210-2773




Welcome to Sweet Water Dentistry, where your family’s oral health is our top priority! At Dr. Phillip N. Greer D.D.S.’s practice in Fairhope, AL, we cater to both adults and children, ensuring everyone receives the care they need. In our latest article, “How Is pediatric dentistry Different From General Dentistry?” you’ll learn about the unique focus pediatric dentists have on children’s dental development, behavior management, and preventive care techniques tailored for young patients. We invite you to visit us at Sweet Water Dentistry and see how our welcoming and relaxing environment down by the bay is perfect for the entire family! For more information or to become a part of our dental family, check out sweetwatersmile.com or call us at (251) 210-2773 today.

How Is Pediatric Dentistry Different From General Dentistry?

Have you ever wondered how pediatric dentistry differs from general dentistry? If so, you are not alone. Many parents and guardians like yourself seek to understand and make the best choice for their children’s dental health. Understanding these differences can help you better navigate your child’s dental care.

At Sweet Water Dentistry, we believe that informed patients make the best decisions for their health. Located down by the bay in Fairhope, Alabama, we take pride in helping every patient achieve and maintain optimal oral health, whether they’re children or adults. Let’s dive into the key differences between pediatric and general dentistry to help you make more informed choices.

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How Is Pediatric Dentistry Different From General Dentistry?

Check out the How Is Pediatric Dentistry Different From General Dentistry? here.

What Is General Dentistry?

General dentistry covers a broad range of services aimed at maintaining your overall oral health. Think of it as a one-stop-shop for all your basic dental needs.

Services Offered in General Dentistry

General dentists are trained to perform a variety of tasks, including:

  • Routine cleanings
  • Dental exams
  • Fillings
  • Crowns
  • Bridges
  • Root canals
  • Extractions

Their main goal is to prevent, diagnose, and treat common dental problems. The focus is on maintaining good oral hygiene and ensuring that teeth and gums remain healthy.

Patient Demographic

General dentists treat patients of all ages. From young adults to the elderly, everyone can benefit from the services provided by a general dentist. This diversity in patient age and treatment complexity means that general dentists have a broad skill set to address various dental issues.

Typical Environment

The atmosphere in a general dental office is designed to be welcoming to patients of all ages. However, general dental practices may not provide the specialized environment that children often need to feel comfortable and at ease.

What Is Pediatric Dentistry?

Pediatric dentistry focuses on the dental health of children from infancy through adolescence. Pediatric dentists undergo additional training to meet the unique needs of young patients.

Specialized Training

Pediatric dentists complete an extra two to three years of specialized training beyond dental school. This training covers areas such as:

  • Child psychology
  • Growth and development
  • Pediatric sedation methods
  • Handling children with special needs

This specialized training equips pediatric dentists with the skills needed to provide comprehensive dental care for children.

Services Offered in Pediatric Dentistry

While pediatric dentists can perform many of the same procedures as general dentists, their services are tailored specifically for children, including:

  • Infant oral health exams
  • Preventive dental care
  • Early assessment for straightening teeth
  • Management of orthodontic conditions
  • Repair of tooth cavities or defects

Focus on Education and Prevention

One key aspect of pediatric dentistry is educating both the child and their parents. Pediatric dentists emphasize preventive care through:

  • Nutritional advice
  • Habit counseling (e.g., thumb-sucking and pacifier use)
  • Proper brushing and flossing techniques

Child-Friendly Environment

Pediatric dental offices are designed to be fun and welcoming for children. From colorful decor to child-sized dental chairs, these elements aim to make children feel at ease. A positive dental experience in early childhood promotes lifelong good oral habits.

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Check out the How Is Pediatric Dentistry Different From General Dentistry? here.

Key Differences Between Pediatric and General Dentistry

Now that you understand what each specialization entails, let’s break down the differences more clearly. Here’s a detailed comparison to help you decide which type of dental care is best suited for your child:

Aspect Pediatric Dentistry General Dentistry
Target Age Group Infants to Adolescents All ages
Specialized Training Additional 2-3 years focusing on pediatric care Basic dental training
Typical Services Preventive care, child-specific treatments Routine cleanings, exams, general procedures
Environment Child-friendly, fun, welcoming General design, no specific child-centric elements
Patient Education Focus on educating both child and parents General advice applicable to all age groups
Psychological Approach Training in child psychology General patient care

Why Choose Pediatric Dentistry for Your Child?

Choosing the right dentist for your child is crucial for their long-term dental health. Pediatric dentistry offers several advantages that make it the better option for young patients.

Expertise in Child-Specific Issues

Pediatric dentists are experts in dealing with dental issues that commonly affect children. They can identify and treat problems that may not be as apparent to general dentists.

Comfort and Environment

Children often have anxiety about dental visits. Pediatric dental offices are designed to minimize this anxiety through a welcoming and engaging environment. This can make a significant difference in how your child perceives dental care.

Preventive Focus

Preventive care is the cornerstone of pediatric dentistry. Early education and preventive measures can save your child from more complex dental problems in the future.

How Is Pediatric Dentistry Different From General Dentistry?

When to Transition to a General Dentist?

As your child grows, you might wonder when it’s appropriate to transition to a general dentist. There’s no set age for this transition, but it generally happens between ages 16 and 18.

Factors to Consider

  1. Comfort Level: If your child feels comfortable and trusts their pediatric dentist, there’s no rush to make a switch.
  2. Specific Dental Needs: Adolescents with ongoing dental issues that require specialized care may benefit from staying with a pediatric dentist longer.
  3. Dental Health: If your child has had a history of dental issues, keeping the continuity with a pediatric dentist may be beneficial.

However, once your child becomes an adult, switching to a general dentist is usually advisable to meet broader dental needs.

How Sweet Water Dentistry Can Help You

At Sweet Water Dentistry, we are equipped to handle both general and pediatric dentistry needs. Dr. Phillip N. Greer D.D.S. and his team strive to develop lasting relationships with all our patients, both young and old. Our mission is to serve the community wholeheartedly, providing excellent dentistry in a relaxing environment.

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Conveniently Located

We are located at:
Sweet Water Dentistry
5915 Sweetwater Cir
Fairhope, AL 36532
(251) 210-2773

Our Mission Statement

To serve the community wholeheartedly by providing excellent dentistry in a relaxing environment down by the bay. Where love, peace, patience, kindness, and gentleness are demonstrated to all.

Our goal is to be the most welcoming and relaxing dental practice in the Gulf Coast region, providing excellent dental services and a passion to serve the community through the love of Jesus Christ.

What to Expect When Visiting Our Practice

Initial Consultation

Whether you’re bringing your child for the first time or transitioning from another practice, your initial consultation will be thorough. We will review your dental history, conduct an initial exam, and discuss any concerns you may have.

Individualized Care Plans

No two patients are alike, so why should their dental care be? We create individualized care plans tailored to meet your specific needs and preferences.

State-of-the-Art Facilities

Our practice is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, ensuring that we provide the most advanced and effective treatments available.

Insurance and Financial Information

We accept most major insurance plans. If you have any questions about your coverage, feel free to ask our friendly staff when you schedule your appointment.

FAQs about Pediatric vs. General Dentistry

Is a Pediatric Dentist More Expensive?

The cost of dental care can vary based on the services required. Pediatric dentists tend to focus on preventive care, which can be cost-effective in the long run.

How Can I Prepare My Child for Their First Dental Visit?

Talk to your child about what to expect and assure them that the dentist is there to help keep their teeth healthy. Reading books or watching videos about dental visits can also be helpful.

Can a General Dentist Treat My Child?

Yes, a general dentist can treat your child, but a pediatric dentist has specialized training to deal with children’s unique needs, making them a more suitable option for younger patients.


Understanding the differences between pediatric dentistry and general dentistry can help you make the best decision for your child’s dental health. Pediatric dentists offer specialized training, a child-friendly environment, and a focus on preventive care, making them an excellent choice for your young ones.

At Sweet Water Dentistry, we’re committed to providing exceptional dental care for the entire family. Whether you need a pediatric dentist for your child or general dental services for yourself, we’re here to help.

Ready to schedule an appointment? Visit us at:
Sweet Water Dentistry
5915 Sweetwater Cir
Fairhope, AL 36532
(251) 210-2773

We look forward to welcoming you to our dental family!

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