When your child gets a toothache, you immediately take them to a Pediatric Dentist. However, toothache is not the only thing that they are capable of treating. So who exactly are pediatric dentists and what all things do they do? Well, let us tell you.
Who are Pediatric Dentists?
Pediatric dentists or Pedodontists are specialist dentists who have taken additional training focused solely on solving the oral health problems of children from infancy through their teenage years, and adults with special healthcare needs.
They are certified to prevent, diagnose and treat the various issues related to teeth, gums, and mouth. Along with that they are also trained to educate children regarding their oral health and parents about the best oral health practices for their young ones.
They are also trained in various psychological behavioral techniques. These techniques allow the dentist to manage children in the clinic so that they can receive the best treatment indicated for them effectively. So as you can see, a Pediatric dentist has many facets and is not only limited to making the toothache go away.
What kind of training do Pediatric Dentists receive?
After completion of 4 years of an undergraduate degree, dentists undergo two additional years of residency to become Pediatric Dentists.
These 2 years are focused on training dentists to handle all aspects of oral health of children and young adults.
What is a board-certified Pediatric Dentist and why does it matter?
Every parent wants the best for their children. It's the same when it comes to their child's oral health. To ensure that the quality of care is maintained, all Pedodontists must be certified by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry (ABPD).
An ABPD certification means that the care provided by the Pediatric Dentist is up to the standards of excellence that ensure quality oral healthcare for infants, children, adolescents, and patients with special health care needs.
In simpler words, an ABPD certification is a seal of approval regarding the quality of care rendered by the Pediatric Dentist.
Treatments offered by the Pediatric Dentist
The oral cavity of our young ones differs significantly from us adults. Their problems are unique with unique challenges. A pediatric dentist is fully equipped to handle these varied and multifaceted challenges with the arsenal of treatments offered by them. Some of the most essential healthcare services offered by pediatric dentists include:
Oral health exams of children- This includes a careful assessment of the child's oral cavity, listing down the issues present within it, and formulating treatment plans according to their needs.
Parent and patient education- Parents play a huge role in the maintenance of the oral health status of their young ones. They are responsible for taking care of their child's oral cavity while at home. To do it properly they need to be educated on the do's and don'ts when it comes to their child's oral health. It is the responsibility of the Pediatric dentist to educate them about the various hygiene practices, feeding practices, eating habits, etc that they should follow when taking care of their child.
Caries (Cavity) risk assessment of mother and child- Certain factors when present can increase the likelihood of cavities. Caries risk assessment aims to prevent and eliminate them so that they don't result in cavities.
Application of dental sealants- These materials seal the grooves on the teeth so that no bacteria can enter them and cause cavities.
Treatment of cavities by filling, crowns, restorations, etc.
Extractions of teeth- Teeth that are heavily cavitated and destroyed need to be extracted. A Pediatric Dentist is qualified to safely extract these kinds of teeth.
Analyzing the facial features and the oral cavity to determine the need for orthodontic treatment- Orthodontic treatment should be started at a young age for the best results. As Pediatric dentists see the child from a young age they are in the best position to assess the need for orthodontic treatment.
Treatment of gum diseases- Gum diseases like bleeding from gums, swollen gums, abscesses, etc require immediate attention.
Management of trauma cases- These include broken tooth, extruded tooth, trauma while playing sports, etc.
Interception of deleterious oral habits like mouth breathing, tongue thrusting, thumb sucking, grinding of teeth, etc may cause significant changes in facial features and symmetry.
Management and treatment of children with special needs- Patients with special health care needs need additional motivation to undergo dental treatments. This is where pedodontists come in. One of the most important parts of training as a Pediatric Dentist is to adequately render care to patients with special health care needs.
Use of conscious sedation in recommended cases- Most children in the clinic can be managed by the Pedodontists by basic behavioral guidance techniques. However, children with a psychological, emotional, mental, physical, or medical disability require advanced behavior management techniques. One of the techniques is conscious sedation. Conscious sedation reduces fear and perception of pain during the treatment. It increases cooperation and prevents dental fear. Along with that it also helps in controlling behavior to allow the safe completion of the procedure.
Where can you find a Pediatric Dentist?
Finding a good Pediatric Dentist is important as they are responsible for your child's oral health until adolescence. Most pediatric dentists own private practices. You can locate one in your vicinity by using the internet. You can also access the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry website or the insurekidsnow.gov site to look for dentists that suit your needs.
Another way of finding a good Pediatric dentist is through your family dentist. They can recommend you to specialists to take care of your child's oral health.
Medical centers, public hospitals, and dental schools are other great places to look for pedodontists.
Your child's oral health is a pathway to the whole body. Maintaining it is the best way to ensure a disease-free childhood. That is why a Pediatric Dentist is so important. Dr. Dina is a Board-Certified Pediatric Dentist! So book an appointment with us today and take the first step towards a healthier future.
If you have any additional questions about your child's oral hygiene, please feel free to contact us at Urbana Pediatric Dentistry. To learn more about Urbana Pediatric Dentistry visit our About Us page. For more tips and information feel free to Contact Us and follow us on social media on Instagram @urbanapediatricdentistry and Facebook @urbanapediatricdentistry.