We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Does a Family Dentist Do?

Mary McMahon
Updated Feb 06, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A family dentist provides basic dental care to patients of all ages. This can include a range of services from emergency dentistry to routine checkups. A dental education, which includes dental school and clinical training, is necessary to work as a family dentist. As with other medical professions, dentists also need to sit for a licensing exam and meet continuing education requirements to retain their licenses.

On a day to day basis, the family dentist works with new and established patients to manage their dental health. Routine examinations and cleanings are part of the job, as are appointments to address specific concerns like emerging dental disease. Patients with chronic dental problems may need more close monitoring and maintenance care to ensure that their needs are met. If an issue falls outside the scope of the practice, the dentist can provide a referral to a different care provider. In the case of a referral, the dentist can provide a consult with an overview of the patient's history for the benefit of the new practitioner.

In addition to routine care, family dentists may offer cosmetic dentistry along with treatment of basic oral health problems like cavities. Complex oral and maxillofacial surgery is generally not offered, or treatments like braces, which require the services of an orthodontist. The family dentist may work with other care providers to offer complete care to a patient, such as checkups between visits to an orthodontist or management of oral health in patients who take medications that cause dry mouth.

Patients can see a family dentist throughout their lives, from early childhood to old age. The dentist has equipment and training to handle pediatric patients, who can present special concerns because their mouths are still developing. As patients age, the dentist can monitor ongoing areas of concern and provide preventative care. Since the dentist usually gets to know the patient well and becomes acquainted with the patient's detailed medical history, it can be easier to catch health problems before they become serious.

Some dental practices may include orthodontists and other specialists alongside a family dentist. This makes it easy for dentists to offer referrals and keep patients with the same practice for as many services as possible. For patients, this can be convenient and may also result in better outcomes because it provides more continuity of care. Sharing charts, patient history, and past experiences can be much simpler when doctors work in the same office and are familiar with each other.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.