Albuquerque Dentist

Family DentistAlbuquerque, NM

Ever wonder what a family dentist does? You have come to the right place. Think of a family dentist as a one-stop shop when it comes to addressing your family's oral care needs. It is a family dental practice that provides all the services you and your family members might need. It is also where you find all the different specialists like pediatric dentists, orthodontists, oral surgeons and periodontists, all under one roof.

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Why go with a family dentist?

There's a very simple answer to that question. A family dentist offers a level of convenience that a person cannot get jumping around from one dental clinic to another. For example, it can be quite difficult to keep up with everyone's needs when you are a family with kids. The newborn needs a pediatric dentist, your 11-year old might need orthodontic treatments to have their teeth straightened, you might want to have your teeth whitened and your spouse has not had a checkup in ages. It is easy to see how shuffling each member to a dental practice that can provide the treatment each person needs can be time-consuming and stressful.

With a family dentist, everyone can have their needs taken care of at the same place at the same time. That means one dental appointment for the whole family, and everyone gets their needs taken care of.

Types of dentists found at a family dental facility

1. Kid's dentist

A pediatric dentist is a staple of any family practice. It is classified as one of the nine major dental specialties, and these professionals treat infants, children and teenagers. These professionals have two additional years of training that is focused on treating young patients.

A kid's dentist provides a wide range of services like dealing with cavities and ensuring the proper development of primary and secondary teeth.

A pediatric dentist also educates parents about the best way to take care of their children's teeth and gums. The goal is to establish good oral hygiene early on so that it becomes a natural part of the child's life. Parents are advised to take their child to the pediatric dentist before the child's first birthday.

Pediatric dentists also offer preventative treatments. It can be difficult to properly clean a child's teeth, so treatments like teeth cleanings and the use of dental sealants are often recommended. The pediatric dentist also has the skills to detect potential oral issues that might develop later in the child's life.

2. General dentist

A general dentist is what comes to most people's mind when they think about oral care. Think of these professionals as the general doctors of the dental world. Most dental issues can be addressed by a general dentist. These professionals tend to focus on preventative treatments since those are the most effective way to prevent the development or progression of many oral issues.

General dentists provide care to people of all ages. Procedures commonly performed by general dentists include teeth cleanings, diagnostic examinations, teeth whitening treatments and the installation of oral prosthetics like crowns.

About 80 percent of dentists in the U.S. are classified as general dentists. These professionals spend four years in dental school, and they have to fulfill all the requirements of the licensing board of the state they practice in. A general dentist may have the initials DDS (doctor of dental surgery) or DDM (doctor of dental medicine) next to their name, but all general dentists have the same level of training.

How family dentists deal with common dental issues

1. Orthodontics

Orthodontics is a dental specialty that primarily deals with issues that affect the proper alignment of a patient's jaw and teeth. A general dentist has the expertise to fix a variety of teeth alignment issues with orthodontic devices. Improper teeth or jaw alignment leads to a bad bite, which, in turn, leads to the teeth being crowded or crooked. These issues often create a lot of discomfort for the patient.

Family dentists often use devices like braces, clear aligners and retainers to help improve the alignment of a patient's smile. They will often use tools like molds and x-rays to determine what the problem is and come up with the best solution.

Braces are the go-to solution for teeth alignment issues. While these devices are mostly used by children and teenagers, they can be effectively used on patients of all ages. It is best to start orthodontic treatments when a child is around the age of seven. This is when most of the permanent teeth begin to appear, and it is typically easier to fix alignment issues early on.

Other issues orthodontics deals with include speech impediments, problems while chewing and jaw pain. If the problem is severe, the family dentist might refer the patient to a specialist known as an orthodontist.

2. Crowns

Crowns are oral prosthetics that can be used to fix a variety of oral issues. Unlike many other dental devices that only serve one purpose, a crown serves two important purposes: It protects a tooth from all of the harmful things in a person's mouth like bacteria, acids and debris, plus it restores the appearance of the patient's tooth.

Crowns are also sometimes used in combination with other dental devices like bridges and implants.

There are a variety of materials that can be used to make a crown like gold, silver, porcelain, ceramic and composite resins. The material crowns are made of often depends on the tooth that is being covered with it. For example, the molars carry the biggest load when it comes to chewing, so metal crowns are often preferred since they can withstand more stress. Ceramic and porcelain crowns are not as strong as their metallic counterparts, but they offer better aesthetics.

During the installation of a crown, the dentist will remove a small portion of enamel to ensure the crown fits properly on the affected tooth. An impression of the tooth is taken and sent to a lab, where the device is made. The patient is fitted with a temporary crown while the dentist waits for the crown to be delivered. This normally takes about two weeks. Once the permanent crown is ready, the temporary prosthetic is removed and the permanent one is installed.

The family dentist does it all

The next time you or one of your loved ones needs a dentist, head to a family dentist near you. You can all get the treatments you need and, if anyone needs a specialist, there is no need to travel to a different location.

Request an appointment here: or call Family Choice Dental at (505) 634-5657 for an appointment in our Albuquerque office.