A pediatric dentist is a professional who has studied basic dentistry and then went on to study children's dentistry in order to specialise in children's oral and dental healthcare. Some pediatric dentists also specialize in the oral and dental health care of individuals with special needs. These include people with autism and cerebral palsy. Pediatric dentists have to study for a further two to three years once they have completed their doctoral in dentistry.
Pediatric dentists are able to serve infants, toddlers, children and teenagers. You want to make sure that you select a dentist who is warm, friendly, professional and compassionate and offers a comfortable environment. The dentist has to be considerate of the entire well-being of the child, the physical, emotional and psychological health is just as important as the care of their teeth. In fact, one of the main areas of study to qualify to become a pediatric dentist is child psychology. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that your child have their first dental check up round the age of 1.
Like the other specialised dentists, pediatric dentists are trained and specialised in certain practices and procedures. This means that there are some things that they will not be able to do for your child. For example, a pediatric dentist will not be able to perform dental implants or place porcelain veneers. Below are some of the services that pediatric dentists offer. Dentists focus on preventing tooth decay. So, you will notice that most of their services include measures to prevent and treat tooth decay. They also focus on minting the health of the milk teeth (primary teeth) until they are naturally lost so that the child is not impaired in terms of chewing for good nutrition, their speech development and the maintenance of the space where the adult teeth will grow.
Regular oral exams and checkups:
The dentist will be able to advise you as to how you can cultivate a sense of the importance of oral hygiene in your child. They will also be able to advise you as to what you can do to resolve habits such as thumb-sucking.
The dentist will be able to remove milk teeth that are late to fall out. This will help to make sure that the adult teeth grow healthily and in the right place.
This will assist the dentist to determine the dental development of your child.
This is used to seal potential cavities before they can develop.
This is used to treat the degradation of the tooth enamel resulting from plaque and sugars in the mouth. This is necessary as without it the tooth can decay.
This is solely for aesthetic purposes to ensure that your child has a bright and white smile.
Taking your child to a general dentist is not sufficient. You have to take him/her to a pediatric dentist who has specialised education and training in child's dental needs and services to ensure that your child receives the quality of dental care that he/she needs. There are plenty of health insurances that cover pediatric visits and procedures. However, if your insurance does not cover this, or you do not have health insurance, it is worthwhile to pay out-of-pocket. But, consider it to be an investment in your child's health. Dental and oral care is just as important as general health care. And, the pediatric dentist will be able to assist you to prevent future oral and dental problems for your child. Otherwise, you could end up having to spend more money on dental procedures for your child in future. Pediatric dentists usually charge the same fees as general dentists.