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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Why See a Pediatric Dentist?

Pediatric Dentistry
The world of dentistry has several specialties just as any other field of medicine. While a general dentist can usually meet your oral health care needs, in some special circumstances, a professional with very specific training and experience might be the best option.

This mini blog series will quickly highlight several recognized dental specialties and give you a short overview of the type of dental services they offer, as well as specialized technologies, training or procedures they provide. Hopefully, this knowledge can help you seek out the most appropriate provider to best address your dental health concerns.

Because February is National Children's Dental Health Month, let's start with the field of Pediatric Dentistry. Pediatric dentists, also known as pedodontists, specialize in providing comprehensive dental care for infants, children and adolescents. Upon completion of dental school, a pediatric dentist must also complete a two year residency specializing in childhood oral health care.
Making the choice to take your child to a pediatric dentist has several benefits:
  • A pedodontist and his/her staff deal with children all day, every day. This means they most likely know how to interact with your child in a way that that makes them feel more comfortable and less intimated.
  • The atmosphere of the practice is catered towards kids. Bright colors or fun murals on the walls, flavored fluorides, treasure boxes and a waiting room that is accommodating and fun for children put them at ease. Well stocked toy bins, books and video games endeavor to make a trip to the dentist office a "fun" instead of dreaded experience.
  • A pediatric dentist most likely offers more accommodations and options for sedation dentistry than a general dentist - simply for the fact that some major procedures on kids, especially young children or those with special health concerns, are impractical to attempt without the appropriate methods of sedation.
  • A pediatric dental office is prepared with the right equipment and supplies to meet your child's dental health needs. Kid-sized chairs, bite blocks, crowns, etc. are the norm in a pediatric dental office.
  • Most pedodontists have the behavior training, resources and patience to get dental work completed even in high stress, high anxiety circumstances for kids.
  • Pediatric Dentists are more likely to have connections with hospitals and pediatricians, creating access to network of comprehensive opinions and resources for your child's dental and overall health.
  • Pedodonists are specifically trained to work with children with special needs. They have studied the differences in oral development that can accompany disabilities as well as received the appropriate education to meet the physical, mental, and emotional needs of these special kids.
  • Pediatric dentists focus solely on the treatment of infants, children and adolescents. This means that they are more likely to be well-informed when it comes to the most current research and techniques for providing the best preventative and comprehensive oral healthcare for children.
Establishing good dental habits and a positive rapport with a dentist from early on leads to healthy smiles and decreased dental anxiety as your child grows. If you are worried about your child's oral health, they have special healthcare concerns or needs, or you are simply looking for a more kid-friendly atmosphere your family can call their "dental home", a pediatric dentist may be the right addition to your circle of healthcare professionals.