What is the difference between a pediatric dentist and a general dentist?

Pediatric dentists specialize in children's oral health care and treat a range of ages from infants to teenagers. Here, our dentists in Quesnel explain how pediatric dentists are different from general dentists. 

At Dr. M. Jawanda Dentistry, parents often ask us what the difference between a pediatric dentist and a general dentist is. In particular, they are curious about whether there's any benefit to bringing their children to a pediatric dentist instead of a general dentist. 

In this post, our Quesnel dentists outline some key differences between general and pediatric dentists, and explain when it might be beneficial to see a pediatric dentist. 

What is a pediatric dentist?

Qualifications & Training

One of the nine dental specialties recognized by the Canadian Dental Association is Pediatric Dentistry.

You must graduate from dental school to become a dentist. Some graduates of dental school move on right away to practice as dentists. These are the general dentists many people are familiar with. 

To become a pediatric dentist in Canada, dental school graduates must complete an accredited advanced education program in pediatric dentistry. Once they've completed this program, they will attain a specialty designation from the Provincial Dental Regulatory Authority in their province.

What do pediatric dentists do?

Pediatric dentists are specially trained in the specific oral health care needs of children, ranging from infants to teenagers. 

Pediatric dentists address the following dental care needs specific to children:

  • Baby teeth care
  • Fillings for tooth cavities or defects
  • Preventive dental care for children: oral hygiene cleaning, fluoride treatments, nutrition and diet recommendations, etc.
  • Diagnosis of oral conditions associated with diseases, such as diabetes, asthma, congenital heart defect, hay fever, and ADD / ADHD
  • Early orthodontic assessment & treatment: straightening teeth and correcting misalignment and bite problems (malocclusion)
  • Dental care for children with special needs
  • Habit counseling: thumb sucking and pacifier habit-breaking
  • Infant oral health exams, including risk assessment for cavities

Does my child need to go to a special dentist for children?

General dentists have the skills and training necessary to care for children's teeth, so in most cases, sending children to a pediatric specialist is not necessary.

That means that you can bring your child to your own dentist, and he or she will be well qualified to care for your child's teeth.

For children with unusual or more serious dental problems, or for those with disabilities, the specialized training of a pediatric dentist may be required.

If you have more questions about pediatric dentistry or would like to book an appointment for your child at Dr. M. Jawanda Dentistry, please get in touch today!

New Patients Always Welcome

Looking for a dentist in Quesnel? We're happily accepting new patients at our dental clinic! Contact us to get started today.

Request Appointment


  • Monday:08:30 am - 05:00 pm
  • Tuesday:08:30 am - 05:00 pm
  • Wednesday:08:30 am - 05:00 pm
  • Thursday:08:30 am - 05:00 pm
  • Friday:08:30 am - 05:00 pm
  • Saturday:Closed
  • Sunday:Closed
(250) 991-5297