What is a Pediatric Dentist?

Parents will often say they don’t quite know the difference between a ‘regular’ dentist and one who focuses on pediatric dentistry. Some wonder why it’s necessary. The reason is simple: children are not merely ‘small adults’. Young patients require specialized care, both physically and emotionally, and therefore it is preferable that they are treated by someone with the requisite knowledge and experience.

But of course it’s a little more complicated than that. In this section, we explain what pediatric dentistry entails, the specialized training our dentists have gone through, and how your child benefits from specialized treatment.

Pediatric Dentistry: Specialized Training

In the United States, qualified dentists are required to complete a minimum of two years of residency training in order to qualify for pediatric dentistry (many complete three years of specialized training). This comes in addition to the three to four years of undergraduate education and four years of dental school. This training covers all aspects of pediatric dental medicine as well as surgery.

Training in pediatric dentistry includes the treatment of children who are medically compromised (this can be for a variety of reasons) and the specific requirements of administering sedation and anesthesia to young patients. In addition, pediatric dentists are acutely aware of developmental and growth issues experienced by children. This ensures that the correct treatment option is offered.

Preventative Care

Children are particularly susceptible to tooth decay, which is why pediatric dentistry has a strong focus on preventative care. We can provide preventative treatments such as deep cleaning, flouride treatments, nutrition advice, and habit counseling. In addition, we can assess the need for correcting improper bites in children (orthodontics), as well as the straightening of teeth.

Young patients also require basic guidance on the proper care of their teeth. For example, brushing teeth properly is a habit that needs to be instilled early in life. In order to facilitate this, pediatric dentists will often provide more interesting toothbrushes, tastier toothpaste, and plans that parents can put in place once they’ve left the dental office.

Experience in Treating Children

Children are often scared of dentists; that’s not really a surprise, considering how many of us adults put off visiting a dentist’s chair! Just imagine (or remember!) how it feels to visit a dentist’s office when you’re young and wary of strangers. It is common for a child to cry and to be uncooperative.

Pediatric dentists are trained to deliver quality dental care in a sensitive manner. They have the experience to create a safe, comfortable, and welcoming setting for the child. This helps to prevent an experience that is traumatic and/or damaging to the patient. Pediatric dentists are also given specialized training for treating patients who have special needs.

Every child is different. We ensure each of our young patients is given adequate individualized care and attention. We base our approach partly on the patient’s medical records, individual care needs, the child’s intellectual and emotional development, as well as the preferences of the parents.

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he benefits of proper orthodontic treatment and care go far beyond a more pleasing appearance; they include teeth that are more likely to last a lifetime and a healthier mouth. If you’re interested in undergoing orthodontic care, contact Cochran Orthodontics today to schedule your appointment.

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